By Norman Katende in Moscow
IAAF World Athletics Championships
800m semi-finals Heat III
1. Ayanleh Souleman (DJI) 1:44.99
2. Nick Symmonds (USA) 1:45.00
3. Musaeb Abdulrahman Balla (QAT) 1:45.43
4. Adam Kszczot (POL) 1:45:68
5. Ronald Musagala (UGA) 1:45.87
RONALD Musagala bowed out of the IAAF World Championships at the semi-final stage with his head held high.
Musagala is impressed with his efforts that saw him come agonisingly close to making the finals on his first international engagement and also being able to rub shoulders with some of the world’s top runners.
The start list is displayed on the bid screen inside the Luzhniki Stadium. Musagala began in lane 2. Photo by Norman Katende
A tensed up Musagala makes his way to the starting blocks on the track. Photo by Norman Katende.
Musagala clocked 1:45.87 seconds to finish fifth in a tough race In Heat 3 that was won by Djibouti’s Ayanleh Souleman in a time of 1:44.99 with America’s Nick Symmonds following in 1:45.00.
It wasn’t the best of starts for Musagala who was caught in the middle of the running pack where he was shoved in the back by Kenya’s Anthony Chemut but somehow kept his footing and surged into the lead.
Pictures of Musagala at the starting line were beamed onto the big screens inside the stadium. Photo by Norman Katende
He took time to fight his way out and though he managed to scrap through at the 400m mark, the energy he used was a lot and his inexperience was evident as Souleman and Symmonds passed him with ease.
“It was a learning process. My coach (Rafael Kasaja) has done everything to help me reach this level and I am looking forward to reuniting with him for more training,” said Musagala, who was happy with his showing.
Musagala took the lead early on and led the race at the 400m metre mark. Photo by Norman Katende.
Musagala who was making his maiden appearance on the international stage in Moscow looked dejected after finishing fifth in his heat to miss out on the finals. Photo by Norman Katende.
“It is my first trip and qualifying for the final probably was a step too far for me. I know now that I can challenge the best and even stamp my name on the world circuit with more training,” he added.
Musagala qualified for the semi-final by winning his heat at the first round.
Kasaja is coaching the current crop of middle distance runners that include Halimah Nakaayi and Winnie Nanyondo and is one of the beneficiaries of a coaching training course by Gunter Lange, the German sports technical expert to Uganda.