Middle distance athlete Winnie Nanyondo has qualified for the women’s 1500m final despite failing to complete her race after being pushed to the ground by Italian Gala Sabbatini at the ongoing world athletics championship at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, United States of America.
The organisers decided to enter Nanyondo in the finals after reviewing the race.
Initially, Nanyondo was disqualified from the finals after failing to finish the race, but Uganda’s officials appealed the decision that was overturned in her favor.
In the second semifinal won by Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon, Nanyondo started the race at a good pace and secured the inside lane in the first 20 meters but she was later overtaken by Kipyegon and Ethipia’s Hirut Meshesha.
But the 2018 commonwealth bronze medalist kept in the first five positions throughout the race. The problem came when the race was unfolding and they were racing in the last 100 meters as every athlete was pushing to finish in the fast five to book a slot in the finals.
The 28-year-old Nanyondo like any other athlete boosted her sprints in the last 100 meters and was clearly among the first five athletes.
However, Italian Sabbatini was seen shoving Nanyondo towards the last 80 meters, which made her lose stamina and consequently fell down before the race was concluded.
According to the qualifying standards, the fast five athletes from each of the semifinals grabbed slots for the semifinal and the next fastest two runners across the two semifinals.
Nanyondo was already teary after the race. Ugandan officials appealed the first decision and after the review, Sabbatini was disqualified for shoving Nanyondo.
The Ugandan qualified as the 13th athlete. She will later on Tuesday take the stage to rub shoulders with other top athletes in the 1500m finals.
Middle distance runner Ronald Musagala failed to progress to the final in the men’s edition of the 1500m. Musagala who holds the national record over the distance came a distant 13th in his heat and missed a spot into the finals.
In the same development, 2018 commonwealth gold medalist Stella Chesang broke the women’s national record over the 10000m she when ran a 31:01.04 minutes’ time to command 14th position finish in the finals of the race but failed to reach the podium.
Her counterpart Mercyline Chelangat finished 16th in the same race won by Ethiopia Latesenbet Gidey who reached 30:09.94.