Ronald Musagala is the real deal

By Charles Mutebi

This is Musagala’s time and watching Saturday’s race in Paris, it was arguable he could have run even faster

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IAAF Diamond League Paris (1500m final)

Ronald Musagala 3.30.58

Ayanleh Souleiman 3.30.66

Filip Ingebrigtsen 3:31.06

Ronald Musagala’s winning time of 3:30:58 Saturday at the IAAF Diamond League Paris Grand Prix confirmed once again that the 1500m national record holder will be the man to beat at the World Championships in Doha in October.

It was a repeat of his national record-setting performance in Monaco last month and left one TV commentator enthusing, “In Ronald Musagala, Uganda have found a real diamond”.

But even that remark may not capture the full extent of just how good Musagala has been in 2019 and how serious a medal prospect for Team Uganda he has become. See, if Musagala had run the same time in Rio 2016, he would have easily won Olympic Gold - which went to American Mathew Centrowitz with a time of 3.50.00.

Musagala run 3.51.68 and finished 11th in the Rio 1500m final.

In the last World Championships in London, Musagala did not even reach the final despite running an improved 3.42.01, which was only good enough for 21stplace finish. His first race in the competition had seen the athlete post 3.42.75.

Kenya’s Elijah Manangoi won the eventual gold with a time 3.33.61. Again, Musagala’s personal best would have won him gold in London two years ago.

This, therefore, is Musagala’s time and watching Saturday’s race in Paris, it was arguable Musagala could have run even faster. He run a longer final 200m as he went around the leading pack that had crammed the inside lane.

Musagala does not run from the front so he has been relying on his strong finish to win races. But that tactic, as aforementioned, is attended with its fair share of hardships.

But it is working for Musagala, for whom a world medal beckons.