Nakaayi, Orogot Progress to Semi-Finals

Halimah Nakaayi and Natoya Goule from Jamaica during 800 meter for women at the Tokyo Olympics | photo Credit: Imago Images

ATHLETICS Nakaayi, Orogot Progress to Semi-Finals

Shafic Kiyaga 13:26 - 23.08.2023

Halima Nakaayi and Tarsis Orogot made their mark, securing places in the semi-finals of the Women's 800m and Men’s 200m races respectively.

Halima Nakaayi displayed her prowess in the Women's 800m race, clinching the top spot in her heat (4) with an impressive time of 1:59.68.

She edged out Jamaican contender, Adelle Tracey, who achieved her season's best of 1:59.82, followed closely by French athlete Renelle Lamote.

Romanian Claudia Bobocea ran her personal best but missed out on being among the non-automatic qualifiers.

Meanwhile, Botswana's Oratile Nowe made headlines, setting a new national record in the same heat, clocking 2:01.62, though finishing seventh meant she was eliminated.

The quarter-finals, while devoid of drama, witnessed stellar performances from the sport's leading athletes.

Defending champion from the USA, Athing Mu, secured victory in the final heat with a timing of 1:59.59, outpacing Jamaica's Natoya Goule-Toppin who clocked 1:59.64.

Other remarkable performances included GB's Keely Hodgkinson in heat one, recording a time of 1:59.53, and Kenya's Mary Moraa, who won heat two in 1:59.89.

The semi-finals for the Women's 800m are eagerly anticipated, scheduled for Friday at 9:25 pm.

On the other hand, Tarsis Orogot, competing in his debut World Championships, successfully advanced to the semi-finals in the 200m race, albeit as a non-automatic qualifier.

Competing in heat five, Orogot registered a time of 20.44 seconds, holding his ground against sprinters such as Japanese Towa Uzawa, Courtney Lindsey, and Jamaican Rasheed Dwyer.

Not to be outdone, defending champion Noah Lyles started his 200m title defence with an impressive 20.05 heat win.

He'll be in esteemed company during the semi-finals with other heat winners including Letsile Tebogo, Zharnel Hughes, Brendon Rodney, Erriyon Knighton, and Kenny Bednarek.

However, it wasn't smooth sailing for all participants. Heat seven of the 200m witnessed unexpected drama.

French sprinter Ryan Zeze, originally finishing third, was disqualified due to a false start.

While he initially ran the heat under protest, subsequent reviews confirmed the disqualification, allowing Nigeria's Alaba Akintola a chance to advance to the semi-finals.

The stage is set for Uganda's long-distance luminaries, Sarah Chelangat and Prisca Chesang, as they gear up to compete in the 5000m heats of the 2023 World Athletics Championships in the afternoon session.

Chelangat makes a compelling return to the track, having delivered an impressive performance in the women's 10,000m finals, clinching the tenth spot with a time of 31:40.04. The promising young talent, Chesang, joins her. 

While grappling with the soaring temperatures of Budapest, the Ugandan athletes are confronted with formidable competition from the likes of Faith Kipyegon, the Dutch sensation Sifan Hassan – participating in her third event, and the reigning 10,000m champion, Gudaf Tsegay.