Uganda: Nanyondo Raises Doha Hopes With Season's Fourth National Record

Uganda's optimism beyond Joshua Cheptegei for a track medal at the forthcoming IAAF World Athletics Championships is slowly rising.

Going by the season displays, middle-distance runner Winnie Nanyondo appears to be another lucrative option for a podium finish for the East African nation come the September 28 - October 6 event in Doha, Qatar.

Her pursuit for a second career championship medal is in great stead following a fourth national record (NR) of the season last week. Whereas much of the attention was on Dutch girl Sifan Hassan who had set a new world record (WR), Nanyondo too was delightful after rewriting the one mile run NR to 4:18.65 at the Monaco Diamond League (DL) Meet in France on Friday.

Nanyondo finished seventh in the race but her time had erased the previous NR which she had also set on June 3, 2018 at FBK Games in Hengelo, Netherlands by 9.51 seconds. "I feel very good because of my performance this year," she told this paper via phone from Netherlands yesterday. "The race in Monaco was also very good," the 25-year-old remarked. Hassan rewrote the WR to 4:12.33.

The 2014 Commonwealth 800m bronze medallist Nanyondo has had an incredible six months which began with an indoor mile run NR of 4:29.40 in second place at Müller Indoor Grand Prix, Birmingham on February 16.

To show her growth over the 1500m, Nanyondo broke Janet Achola's NR with a time of 4:01.39 at Shanghai DL on May 18 before lowering it again to 3:59.56 at the Rabat DL in Morocco on June 16.

She feels optimistic going into the Doha Worlds. "Of course, I am feeling very good because I qualified in my first 1500m race (of the season)," Nanyondo noted, not divulging much into her plans between now and the trip to Middle East. "My coach (Addy Ruiter) will plan for me. I am now remaining with one race (in Europe) then I come back home," she added.

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