Ruiter hails Nakaayi

Ball Possession. Australian Bisset (R) dips in to pip Ugandan Nakaayi (C) and Ethiopian Girma at the finish-line in Torun on Tuesday. PHOTO | WORLD ATHLETICS

What you need to know:

  • Uganda has never won a medal at the World Indoor Championships and Nakaayi has her sights set on history next month should her form be anything to go by.

Coach Addy Ruiter is speaking with optimism about his runner Halimah Nakaayi ahead of next month’s World Athletics Indoor Championships in Belgrade, Serbia.

Nakaayi has brewed hopes of a medal on her trip to the Serbian capital following a display of quality over the last month.

On Tuesday night, Nakaayi did not break her own national indoor record for a fourth time but still produced a respectable place over the 800m at the Orlen Copernicus Cup in Toruń, Poland.

Good time

The world 800m champion clocked a time of two minutes and 16 micro seconds at the Arena Torun, after Australian Catriona Bisset pipped her at the finish-line. “It was a decent race,” said Dutchman Ruiter. It was Nakaayi’s fifth race of the season, producing a sub-1:59 and a sub-1:58 in the process.

The latter, 1:58.58 in particular, came when the 27-year-old took second place at the World Indoor Gold Meeting in Lievin, France last Thursday. That is a national record.

“Five races in a short period. She is now coming back to Uganda. Some rest till the end of this week and then two weeks of good training before she travels to Belgrade,” Ruiter added.

Jinx could end

Uganda has never won a medal at the World Indoor Championships and Nakaayi has her sights set on history next month should her form be anything to go by.

Meanwhile, Winnie Nanyondo continued to fine-tune for Belgrade by finishing fifth behind a quartet of Ethiopians with a respectable time of 4:03.54 over the 1500m race.

In-form Gudaf Tsegay won in a time of 3:54.77. Action in Belgrade comes March 18-20.

ORLEN COPERNICUS CUP

RESULTS - WOMEN’S 800M

1. Catriona Bisset      (AUS)   2:00.16

2. Halimah Nakaayi   (UGA)  2:00.19

3. Tigist Girma            (ETH)   2:00.19

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