Just 10 days ago, Winnie Nanyondo broke a two-minute barrier and finished second in a personal best time of 1:59.39 in the 800m race at the IAAF World Challenge Meet in Dutch city Hengelo.
After such an impressive performance, many could have thought that Nanyondo’s feat was due to the fast track in Hengelo and not her improved efforts.
But doubts about her better display were silenced when the 20-year-old recorded her maiden international win at the IAAF Golden Spike Meet in Czech Republic city of Ostrava on Tuesday night.
This time, Nanyondo powered down the homestretch and away from a crowded 14-woman field to earn a surprise victory in a new personal best time of 1:59:27.
“It was a hard race and I’m very happy,” Nanyondo told iaaf.org moments after celebrating with a little dance before kneeling on the track and raising her arms to the sky.
At the moment, the middle-distance runner is in her best ever shape and she must be looking forwards to the Commonwealth Games slated for July 27 – August 3 in Glasgow, Scotland. “It’s only my second race in Europe and I have to say I like it here,” she added.
She fell short of beating the national record (1:59.08) set by Annet Negesa two years ago in Hengelo by 19 micro seconds.
Nanyondo came ahead of home girl Maryna Arzamasava, who ran down American Molly Beckwith in the waning stages to take second, 1:59.65 to 1:59.77, season’s bests for both.
Meanwhile, aside from the new seven world lead and five meet records set at Ostrava, Moses Kipsiro’s form on track continued to dip as he finished a distant 12th in the 3000m race. A bronze medalist at the 5000m race at the 2007 Osaka World Championships, Kipsiro clocked 7:45.82 after the seven-and-a-half laps. Kenyan Caleb Ndiku won in 7:31.66 ahead of Ethiopian Yomif Kejelcha (7:36.28) and New Zealand’s Nick Willis (7:36.91).
IAAF WORLD CHALLENGE GOLDEN SPIKE – OSTRAVA
WOMEN’S RESULT - 800M
1. Winnie Nanyondo (UGANDA) 1:59.27
2. Maryna Arzamasava (BELARUS) 1:59.65
3. Molly Beckwith (USA) 1:59.77
MEN’S RESULT - 3000M
1. Caleb Ndiku (KENYA) 7:31.66
2. Yomif Kejelcha (ETHIOPIA) 7:36.28
3. Nick Willis (NEW ZEALAND) 7:36.91
12. Moses Kipsiro (UGANDA) 7:45.82