Team Uganda will return home today from the IAAF World Athletics Championships after a memorable display mainly highlighted by Halimah Nakaayi’s 800m gold a week ago.
Nakaayi surpassed the expectations of many to win the two-lap distance in a national record time of 1:58.04 at the Khalifa International Stadium.
She however doesn’t want her feat to go unnoticed by President Museveni. “Just as he has done for others, I would like him to do for me too. I want him to set-up apartments for me, I would be very grateful,” said the world champion who turns 25 in nine days.
Last year, Museveni promised to construct houses for Joshua Cheptegei and Stella Chesang after they won gold medals at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in Australia.
The same was done for Stephen Kiprotich’s parents after he ended the country’s 40-year gold medal wait with a marathon crown at the 2012 Olympics Games. Nakaayi broke the barriers and believes the perception towards the sport in the central region will change.
“Many people gave up on athletics and think that those from the central region cannot run,” she narrated while explaining her Maganda traditional dance celebration with Winnie Nanyondo.
“The eastern region is gifted so are we and the rest of the country,” she added.
Meanwhile, Nakaayi‘s feat left a whole bulk of pressure around her training partners Nanyondo and Ronald Musagala’s spikes. Fourth in the 800m final, Nanyondo’s body couldn’t deliver in the sixth race at Khalifa as she finished 11th with 4:00.63 in the 1500m final won by Ethiopian-born Dutch Sifan Hassan.
Earlier on Friday, Musagala made tactical errors at the bell and missed qualification to the men’s 1500m final which was due last night.
In the early hours of Sunday , Fred Musobo finished 13th while Stephen Kiprotich came 18th in the men’s 42km race on the looped course of Corniche.
Whereas Jacob Kiplimo opted out of the men’s 10000m final at the last minute, a total 21 Ugandans athletes took part in the Worlds.
UGANDA’S MEDALS AT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Athens 1997: Davis Kamoga (Silver, 400m)
Helsinki 2005: Dorcus Inzikuru (Gold, 3000m SC)
Osaka 2007: Moses Kipsiro (Bronze, 5000m)
Moscow 2013: Stephen Kiprotich (Gold, Marathon)
Beijing 2015: Solomon Mutai (Bronze, Marathon)
London 2017: Joshua Cheptegei (Silver, 10000m)
Doha 2019: Halimah Nakaayi (Gold, 800m)
IAAF WORLD ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIPSs
SELECTED RESULTSMEN’S MARATHON
1 Lelisa Desisa (ETH) 2:10:40
2 Mosinet Geremew (ETH) 2:10:44
3 Amos Kipruto (KEN) 2:10:51
13 Fred Musobo (UGA) 2:13:42
18 Stephen Kiprotich (UGA) 2:15:04
1 Sifan Hassan (NED) 3:51.95
2 Faith Kipyegon (KEN) 3:54.22
3 Gudaf Tsegay (ETH) 3:54.38
11 Winnie Nanyondo (UGA) 4:00.63