Uganda middle distance duo of Winnie Nanyondo and Halimah Nakaayi powered their way into Women’s 800m semifinals due to Saturday at the ongoing 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Going into the heats, each needed to finish among the first three in their respective heats to earn an automatic qualification or at least finish as one of the next six fastest across the six heats to advance.
Nanyondo eased through into the semis when she clocked 2:02.02 to finish second in Heat One in a close race won by France’s Renelle Lamote (2:01.92).
In heat two, Nakaayi finished fourth in a photo finish with Norway’s Hynne to miss just an automatic place and she was made to wait for all the six heats to conclude to learn her fate.
Running in lane four, her time of 2:00.92 was the second fastest of all athletes who finished outside the top three in their respective heats and hence booked a place in the semis.
Only Jamaica’s Goule Natoya (heat 2) and Great Britain’s Jemma Reekie (heat 6) ran under two minutes across all heats.
It promises to be tougher in the semis and work is cut out for Nanyondo’s whose Qualification time was the second last of all the athletes who advanced to the semis.
Earlier, Albert Chemutai missed a place in the men’s 3000m steeplechase final after posting 8:29.81 to finish ninth in his heat.