Uganda’s middle-distance runner Halima Nakaayi has won a bronze medal in the 800m distance at the ongoing World Indoor Championship in Belgrade, Serbia.
In a highly competitive race on Sunday evening, the reigning 800m world champion crossed the finishing line after 2:00.66 behind USA’s Ajee Wilson who won the race at 1:59.09 and Ethiopia’s Hailu Freweyni who bagged silver in 2:00.54 minutes.
This is Uganda’s only medal at the event after Nakaayi’s compatriot Winnie Nanyondo fell short in the 1500m final on Saturday.
To qualify for the final, Nakaayi finished third in heat three with 2:01.47 minutes behind Ethiopia’s Habitam Alemu who won the heat in 2:01.12 minutes.
But Nakaayi entered the final after running the third-best time across all three heats.
Nakaayi has been improving her form since the beginning of the season – running a good time and most recently in the World Athletics Indoor Tour event in France where she became the first woman to run under 2 minutes this year, and her time also set a new Uganda national record.
Having struggled to find her good form last year after suffering a knee problem in April, the 800m reigning world champion was far below her best before and after the Tokyo Olympic Games.
In the last Olympic Games, Nakaayi fell out before the finals of the 800m after coming last in the semifinals at 2:04.44.