🇺🇬 Results Day 1
Winnie NANYONDO 1st Heat 3 2:00.36
Halimah NAKAAYI 2nd heat 1 2:02.33
💠3000m steeplechase W
Peruth CHEMUTAI 1st heat 1 9:21.98
Stephen KISSA 10th heat 2 13:27.36
Oscar CHELIMO 14th heat 1 13:42.94
🇺🇬DAY 2 SCHEDULE – SATURDAY
💠 800m semis 7.15PM
W.Nanyondo | H. Nakaayi
💠 10,000M final 9.10pm
Stella Chesang | Rachael Chebet | Juliet Chekwel
Doha, Qatar | THE INDEPENDENT | Winnie Nanyondo and Peruth Chemutai won their heats as Ugandans started their campaign for glory at the 17th edition of the World Athletics Championships in Doha.
Nanyondo won her 800m heat 3 in 2:00.36 to make it to tomorrow’s semifinal, while Chemutai set the pace in the 3000m steeplechase heat 1 in 9:21.98 to make it to the final on Sunday. Nanyondo will be joined by Halimah Nakaayi who was second in heat 1 in 2:02.33.
Linet Toroitich Chebet will be the other woman in action on day one, when she competes in the marathon at midnight.
It was a bad day out for the men in the only race they competed in, with Stephen Kissa finishing 18th overall in 13:27.36 and Oscar Chelimo 28th 13:42.94. Both failed to make it to the 5000m final.
Former medalists Joshua Cheptegei and Stephen Kiprotich are leading a strong Ugandan team of 22 to the IAAF World Athletics Championships.
Kiprotich returns for his third World Athletics Championships marathon – an event at which he stormed to Gold in Moscow in 2013. This was a year after becoming the first Ugandan to win Olympic Gold since John Akii Bua, at London 2012.
Uganda’s best bet for a medal however is in 23-year-old Cheptegei who will this time focus on one race, unlike the two he aimed for at the last championships in London 2017.
The Ugandan ace came second behind legend Mo Farah in London in 2017 (video bottom), and will be the favourite for gold in the absence of the 36-year-old who has turned his attention to marathons.
A total of 1,972 athletes from 208 countries and territories will compete in the championships, which are seen as an important staging post as Qatar prepares for the challenge of hosting football’s World Cup in 2022.
With the bulk of the competition taking place at the fully air-conditioned Khalifa Stadium, most athletes will be shielded from the sizzling heat in Doha, where temperatures can reach 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit).
Sporting gesture wows crowd
Unheralded 5,000 metre runners Braima Suncar Dabo and shattered rival Jonathan Busby drew the biggest cheer of the World Championships on Friday after a dramatic finish to their race marked by a gesture of sportsmanship.
Both Dabo and Busby had already been lapped and were competing only for pride when their final lap drama unfolded at Doha’s Khalifa Stadium.
Aruba’s Busby, 33, had slowed to almost a crawl down the back straight on the last lap, lurching forward uncertainly and appearing close to collapse.
It was then that Guinea Bissau’s Dabo came to Busby’s rescue, stopping to prop up his fellow racer and leading him around the final 200 metres to the finish line.
With the crowd roaring them on, Busby collapsed after crossing the line and was eventually taken away in a wheelchair.
“I just wanted to help the guy finish the race,” Dabo, 26, said afterwards through a translator.
“I wanted to help him cross the line. I think anyone in that situation would hve done the same thing,” added Dabo, who is a student in Portugal.
Despite the finish — nearly five minutes behind heat winner Selemon Barega of Ethiopia — Dabo’s time of 18min 10.87sec was still a personal best.
But there was a sting in the sporting tail for Busby, who was disqualified.
VIDEO: Top 10 Africans to watch out for
Midnight marathon centre stage
With the bulk of the competition taking place at the fully air-conditioned Khalifa Stadium, it is marathon runners and endurance athletes, whowill be required to battle through the challenging climate alone, stoking safety fears and drawing criticism from athletes.
The marathon and race-walking events have been scheduled for late at night to avoid the hottest part of the day, with Friday’s women’s marathon — where the first medals of the championships will be decided — starting under floodlights at 11:59pm (2059 GMT).
International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) President Sebastian Coe said he is confident marathon runners will be able to cope with temperatures forecast at around 32 degrees Celsius and humidity of 80 percent.
– Nothing to chance –
Organisers however are leaving nothing to chance, with larger than usual teams of paramedics on hand and an abundance of water stations populating the course on Doha’s Corniche waterfront.
“The overwhelming thrust of this is the welfare of the athletes,” Coe said.
“We will have more water on the course than we’ve ever had in any marathon, we will have more medical support and more paramedics out there as well.”
But the fact that competitors in the race-walk event are being required to compete outside the climate-controlled Khalifa stadium has infuriated France’s world champion Yohann Diniz.
“I am disgusted by the conditions,” the 41-year-old world record holder said.
“They take us for idiots… I am extremely upset. If we were in the stadium we would have normal conditions, between 24-25 degrees, but outside they have placed us in a furnace, which is just not possible.
“They are making us guinea pigs.”
While the women’s marathon brings the curtain down on the first day of action, the Khalifa will play host to the opening track and field events.
✳Prize Money – World Championships
Ugandan team – Women (10)
Rachael Zena CHEBET
Linet Toroitich CHEBET
3000 Metres Steeplechase
Jacob KIPLIMO 1
Abdallah Kibet MANDE
3000 Metres Steeplechase
Boniface Abel SIKOWO