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Uganda’s Halimah Nakaayi Wins Women’s 800M at IAAF World Championships

Uganda’s Halimah Nakaayi won the women’s 800m title at the IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar on Friday evening.

24-year-old Nakaayi passed pre-race favoritte Ajee Wilson and sprinted clear to take gold in a finish time of 1:58.04.

Wilson finished third and won bronze, losing second to her training partner Raevyn Rogers.

Another Ugandan, Winnie Nanyondo came fourth in the race.

“Oh my God. At first I couldn’t believe that at 700m I was still with her [Wilson]. But I saw her pace was a little bit declining and I was feeling strong. And I knew yes, God has made it for me. I like the crowd, they cheered so much. They gave me a lot of morale,” a jubilant Nakaayi told BBC after the race.

Halimah Nakaayi dances in celebration with fellow Ugandan finalist Winnie Nanyondo after winning the Women’e 800M at the IAAF World Championships in Doha

Halimah Nakaayi becomes the first Ugandan to win a medal at the first championships.

When asked by the BBC about her hopes for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Nakaayi said, “I know the future is bright. What I have to do is keep on with my training pattern. We are performing.”

Women’s 800m World Champions Winners

2019 Halimah Nakaayi (UGA) 1:58.04

2017 Caster Semenya (RSA) 1:55.16

2015 Maryna Arzamasava (BLR) 1:58.03

2013 Eunice Sum (KEN) 1:57.38

2011 Caster Semenya (RSA) 1:56.35

2009 Caster Semenya (RSA) 1:55.45

2007 Janeth Jepkosgei (KEN) 1:56.04

2005 Zuila Calatayud (CUB) 1:58.82

2003 Maria Mutola (MOZ) 1:59.89

2001 Maria Mutola (MOZ) 1:57.17

1999 Ludmila Formanova (CZE) 1:56.68

1997 Ana Quirot (CUB) 1:57.14

1995 Ana Quirot (CUB) 1:56.11

1993 Maria Mutola (MOZ) 1:55.43

1991 Liliya Nurutdinova (URS) 1:57.50

1987 Sigrun Wodars (GDR) 1:55.26

1983 Jarmila Kratochvilova (TCH) 1:54.68 CR