Shida Leni’s superb form again soared to new heights as she twice broke the national 400 meter record at Namboole today.
With her father present, Leni couldn’t have sought better motivation as she first clocked 52.40 in the National Championship heats then 52.15 in the final four hours later.
The Police Athletics Club runner was visibly in a class apart as she improved on the 52.47 record she set in February when she broke Justine Bayigga’s ten year mark.
“It feels great. My target was actually 51 seconds. That should be possible in a more competitive race,” stated an excited Leni.
Leni’s coaches Kevin and Sue O’Connor attributed her performance to dedication and weight training at Espace Gym at Silver Springs Hotel, Kampala.
Her father retired Lieutenant Colonel Tiyua Abdalatif was elated.
“I am very happy for my daughter, but I also thank her coaches. May God bless them abundantly.”
Leni’s time is also within the 52.20 Doha 2019 World Championship qualifying time, though she has to run within that time again after September 7.
International Association of Athletics Federation regulations stipulate that the Doha Championship 400m times must attained between September 7th 2018 and September 6th 2019.
Her coaches described her performance, the third national record by a Ugandan woman this season, as amazing.
“It really surprised us that she went faster in the afternoon, as the fast 400m in the morning would have sapped some energy from her.
But, the 52.15 sec, having already raced in the morning, means that both she and ourselves are confident that she can run a 400m in the 51 sec bracket.
An extremely important factor in her improvement has been weight-training.”
Action continues in the national championship at Namboole today.