Ugandan athletes Halima Nakaayi and Jacent Nyamahunge qualified for the semi-finals in their respective races as athletics entered day two at the 2022 Commonwealth games in Birmingham.
Nakaayi finished second in her heat with a time of 1:59.35, only 13 microseconds behind Kenya’s Mary Moraa.
The middle-distance runner put aside her disappointment from the 2022 World Athletics Champions and went one better than her performance at Gold Coast in 2018 where she failed to reach the semis.
The 2019 World Champion will now be hoping to reach the finals scheduled for Saturday, August 6, but first, she will need to progress through the semi-finals on Thursday.
Nakaayi’s performance in Heat 1, though not particularly excellent can provide inspiration to her especially building from her time of 2:01.05 in the semi-finals in Oregon last month.
The semi-final result was Nakaayi’s third worst time over the distance this year, after which she did not have kind words for the event organizers, especially regarding her seeding in the race.
Meanwhile, Jacent Nyamahunge squeezed through to the semi-finals of the 100m despite finishing third in her heat.
Nyamahunge, who holds the national 100m record came third in her heat with a time of 11.53 ahead of Hafsatu Kamara, Singapore’s Bernice Yee Ling Liew who posted her personal best Mariyam Ru Ya Ali from the Maldives.
The task for Nyamahunge will be to finish in the top two of her heat to progress automatically for the semis on Wednesday.