Sprinters Leni, Nyamahunge for fine-tuning

Target. Leni is using the Trials to prepare to qualify for the Oregon Worlds.  PHOTO/ISMAIL KEZAALA

What you need to know:

  • A handful of runners are looking to iron out their errors and polish up before they embark on treks across the globe for races at different meets

Sprinters Shida Leni and Jacent Nyamahunge will be among the handful of athletes out to make final touches when they compete at the Fourth National Trials at Namboole Stadium today.

A bumper spell outdoors awaits Uganda’s elite runners with a busy mid-year period that has the Africa Senior Championships in Mauritius, the Oregon World Championships in the US, and the Commonwealth Games in the UK.

A handful of runners are looking to iron out their errors and polish up before they embark on treks across the globe for races at different meets. 
At the Third Trials on April 2, Leni posted 53.22 seconds over the lap to win Heat 3. The Police club runner will be delighted to trim a second or so before she competes on the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold circuit in a fortnight.

“I want to run faster than at the previous Trial,” said 400m runner Leni, who is bidding to hit the qualifying standard of 51.35 seconds to the Oregon Worlds.
Nyamahunge goes faster
Upon return from competition at the ASA Athletics Grand Prix 1 and 2 in South Africa two weeks ago, Nyamahunge posted the fastest time ever over the 200m on home soil of 23.38 seconds.

Ambitious. Nyamahunge during the 3rd Trials. PHOTO/ISMAIL KEZAALA

Whereas it wasn’t ratified as a national record ahead of Leni’s 23.43 set on July 26, 2019, due to unacceptable wind speed of +2.5 m/s, Nyamahunge is dreaming of qualifying for Oregon whose standard is still a high 22.80.
“I am focused on qualifying for Oregon but I still have logistical challenges in feeding, training and transport,” said the 24-year-old.
“My manager in South Africa told me he has no money but he can get me races in Europe. But I know God will work it out.

“On home soil, it may be difficult to qualify but I have to prepare for my chances so I can qualify at the World University Games (late June in China) or Africa Seniors,” Nyamahunge added. 
She also ran an impressive 11.97 over 100m against strong wind of -3.6m/s on April 2.
Meanwhile, Halimah Nakaayi, who recently won an 800m bronze medal at the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade, Serbia, “will do the 1500m race as a training,” her coach Addy Ruiter said.

Nakaayi is preparing to face a steely field over the 800m at the Eugene Diamond League on May 28.
Several other youngsters from Kapchorwa and Bukwo are set to compete in their quest for slots to the World U20 Championships due August 2-7 in Cali, Colombia.
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