Uganda’s middle distance duo of Halima Nakaayi and Winnie Nanyondo fell short of the final of the 800m race after losing their respective heats Saturday at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics.
Nakaayi (2:04.44), the 800m champion came eighth in a race won by Jamaica’s Natoya Goule in 1:59:57 and Great Britain’s Jemma Reekie who came second in 1:59:77.
Athletics can be very lonely, but there is a great spirit among competitors once races are run. This is Noelle Yarigo from Benin wipes away Ugandan Winnie Nanyondo’s tears after both missed out on 800m final. pic.twitter.com/tHCI1iFXHY
— tariq panja (@tariqpanja) July 31, 2021
The two needed to finish in the top two in their heats or at least claim the next 2 fastest times to advance to the Final.
Nakaayi lacked the sharpness that saw her take the 800m title at the IAAF World Diamond Champions in Doha two years ago with a time of 1:58.04.
Commonwealth bronze medalist Winnie Nanyondo also faltered, finishing fifth in her semifinal heat despite posting a season-best time of 1:59:84. The heat was won by Great Britain’s Keely Hodgkinson in a time of 1:59:12.
According to the competition format, the first two runners in each heat book a slot to the final and the next two fastest across all heats also advance to the Final.
Now, Nanyondo remains with one chance when she will lineup in the 1,500m. Her personal best in the race is 4:06.13.