Nakaayi re-writes history in France

By James Bakama

She clocked one minute 58.39 seconds slicing 14 seconds off team-mate, Winnie Nanyondo’s record.

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PIC: Uganda's Halimah Nakaayi competing during the Athletics Women's 800m at the Baku 2017 4th Islamic Solidarity Games at the Olympic stadium in Baku. (File photo)
NANCY - Halima Nakaayi might be one of the smallest Ugandan athletes but on Wednesday stood out at a meet in Nancy, France.
The diminutive Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) runner was at her very best as she rewrote the country’s 800 meter record at a meet in Nancy, France.
She clocked one minute 58.39 seconds slicing 14 seconds off team-mate, Winnie Nanyondo’s record set in Monaco in 2014.
Nakaayi was however beaten to the finishing line by Kenya’s Emily Cherotich who won the two lap race in 1:58.04.
This was the first time Nakaayi was running under two minutes since the 2016 Rio Olympics.
This is also the 13 fastest time in the world this year.
South African Caster Semenya with a blistering  1:55.92 run in Oregon, USA last month, has the season’s fastest time.
Nakaayi’s time is tenth in Africa where Semenya, Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi, Habitum Alemu (Ethiopia) together with Kenya’s Emily Cherotich and Margaret Nyairera are the only Africans who have run faster than Nakaayi this year.
Another Ugandan Ronald Musagala was equally in good form on Wednesday.
Musagala, also a UWA athlete, won the men’s 1500m at the same meet in Nancy. He clocked 3:35.33.
He also holds the national record at 3:33.65, set in 2017 in Hengelo, Netherlands.
Musagala’s time in Nancy is placed at 19 in the world this season. Kenya’s Timothy Cheruiyot has the fastest 1500m run at 3:31.22.
Nakaayi and Musagala are part of a big number of Ugandans currently competing in Europe.
Nakaayi last month run Uganda’s sixth fastest 800 meters this year when she finished second in Stockholm.
She clocked two minutes 01.37 seconds that time in a race won by Ethiopia’s Regasa Shume in 2:01.16.
It was not the first time a Ugandan record was falling this season.
Police Athletics Club’s Lucy Aber recently threw the javelin 53.80 meters to break Annet Kabasindi’s 14 year national record.