Halima Nakaayi is the 800m world champion!
Nakaayi outsprinted Diamond League champion Ajee’ Wilson over the home stretch to win the women’s 800m race in a Ugandan record of 1:58.04 at Khalifa Stadium in Doha, Qatar.
Her countrymate Winnie Nanyondo was short of the medal bracket as she finished fourth in 1:59.18.
To win her first world championship gold in her first finals appearance, Nakaayi breathed past Wilson who was unable to repel the late attack from the Ugandan after hitting the front right from the gun.
Nanyondo and Jamaican Natoya Goule pushed Wilson across the opening lap before Nakaayi stepped on the gas pedal.
The surge from Nanyondo and Goule took a toll on Wilson, who faded in the last 20m and was also passed by her training partner Raevyn Rogers, on the outside, who settled for silver in a season-best 1:58.18.
“I was feeling so good, I knew something special was going to happen tonight so I just kept pushing and pushing. I was feeling strong and in the end, I got it,” said Nakaayi after the race as quoted by iaaf.org.
It was the first time Uganda had a finalist in the women’s 800m race, thus Nanyondo and Nakaayi became the first to compete in a medal race.
Meanwhile, Nanyondo will be back on the track on Wednesday in the heats of the 1500m, which is her stronger event.