Halimah Nakaayi Off-Colour In Rome

 

Uganda’s middle distance runner Halimah Nakaayi looked a shadow of herself after a disappointing run at the 800m in the Wanda Diamond League in Rome on Thursday.

The World Champion came 10th, to finish second last, with 2:01.15.

Nakaayi will feel hard done by the fact that she once again failed to crack the two-minute barrier having won silver with 2:00:87 in Hengelo recently in what was a slow race.

She will feel she could have done better, and actually needs to, and its now work cut out for her to defend the title she won in Doha come the World Championships next month in Oregon.

Last year, she only failed to run below two minutes just twice in her six races – she clocked 2:02.52 and 2:00.63 at FBK Games in Hengelo and Kip Keino Classic in Nairobi respectively.

Nakaayi is a two-time National champion and one-time All Africa Games bronze medalist.

She ran 1:58.03 to set her personal best in 800m last year in Monaco at the Stade Louis II, and many Ugandans will hope that she can replicate such performance come next month.

Olympics champion Athing Mu, back for the first time since recovering from COVID-19, eased through the race with 1:57.01 to post a World Lead of 1:57.01.

France’s Lamotte Renelle came second but Jamaica’s Goule Natoya (6th), Australia’s Bisset Catriona (7th) and Great Britain’s Jemma Reekie (9th) struggled to find pace just like Nakaayi.

The other Ugandan in action was Winnie Nanyondo in 1500m, finishing a distant 9th in a time of 4:06.17 as Meshesha Hirut and Embaye Axumawit recoded an Ethiopian 1-2 while Great Britain’s Laura Muir picked the other podium finish.

Elsewhere in Rome;

Kenyan Nicholas Kimeli broke the 5000m meeting record in Rome with a blistering 12;46.33.

Jamaican sprinter Shericka Jackson stunned country-mate and Olympics champion Elaine Thompson-Herah, United States’ legendary Alyson Felix and Great Britain’s sensational Dina Asher Smith to win the Women’s 200m in another meeting record of 21.96.

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