Ronald Musagala is hurting after his quest for the limelight in the men's 1500m at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics painfully ended yesterday. The middle-distance runner was reduced to sombre mood after he failed to finish the round 1 Heat 3 after the hamstring problem in his left leg manifested again.
And the 28-year-old was visibly heartbroken when a steward took him off the National Stadium maroon tartan in a wheelchair as Great Britain's Jake Heyward celebrated the race victory. "It has failed," Musagala said of his left leg before agreeing that he needed to rest his body. He could not push into the last 400m.
History of hamstrings
Musagala first suffered the hamstring problem at the Stockholm Diamond League in Sweden. He struggled to finish the last 70m of the 1500m race, still managing to hold onto fourth place in 3:33.99 on July 4.
The national record holder returned to the Global Sports Communication training in Nijmegen, Netherlands for treatment but the body hardly recovered.
Leni's bittersweet moment
The 2018 African Senior Games' bronze medallist had even contemplated pulling out of the Tokyo mission days before the opening ceremony.
After Musagala, Shida Leni took lane 8 of the women's 400m Round 1 Heat 3 but she finished sixth in a time of 52.48 seconds. The race was won by American star Allyson Felix in 50.84.
Despite failing to take one of the available top three places to the semi-finals, debutant Leni became Uganda's first sprinter at the Olympics since Justine Bayigga ran the lap at the Beijing 2008 Games.
MUSAGALA IN 2021
Tokyo Olympics (1500m H, DNF)
Stockholm DL (1500m 4th, 3:33.99)
Jul 1: Oslo DL (Mile 6th, 3:53.04)
Jun 6: FBK Games Hengelo (1500m 12th, 3:38.69)
Doha DL (1500m 6th, 3:35.99)
May 8: 7th UAF Trials (800m DNF, Pacesetter)
Apr 24: 6th UAF Trials (1500m 1st, 3:36.63)
ATHLETICS - DAY FIVE RESULTS
WOMEN'S RD 1 HEAT 3
1. Allyson Felix (USA) 50.84
2. Roneisha McGregor (JAM) 51.14
3. Lada Vondrova (CZE) 51.14
6. Shida Leni (UGA) 52.48
MEN'S 15000M RD 1 HEAT 3
1. Jake Heyward (GBR) 3:36.14
2. Teddese Lemi (ETH) 3:36.26
3. Stewart McSweyn (AUS) 3:36.39
X. Ronald Musagala (UGA) DNF