World 800m champion Halimah Nakaayi was not in her best shape at the time she travelled to Europe early last month.
The 26-year-old still carried pain from a niggle and posted a time of two minutes and 2.52 seconds in a distant sixth place at the FBK Games in Hengelo, Netherlands on June 6.
Nakaayi is picking up fast after fully recovering while at the Global Sports Communication (GSC) camp in Dutch city Nijmegen.
“She is already in much better shape,” explained her coach Addy Ruiter. Ruiter is back at the GSC camp in Kapchorwa with Joshua Cheptegei but he is part of the key planners for Nakaayi.
The middle-distance star Nakaayi now has room to peak further when she lines-up for the 800m race at the Bislett Games, a Diamond League (DL) event in Oslo, Norway tonight.
“I am just excited to compete again in the DL,” Nakaayi said upon arriving in Oslo in company of her training partner Ronald Musagala. “I am feeling great and I hope for better results in Oslo,” she stated.
On June 19, Nakaayi had fashioned better with a season best time of 2:00.62 in second place at the Lyonnais Meeting in France.
“Yes, but that was, because of the injury she had, without speed sessions. We stayed with that one week ago and the body is responding very well,” Ruiter noted.
Ruiter thinks Nakaayi can break the two-minute barrier for the first time this year in Oslo. “It depends on how the pacing is and the other girls are running but 1:59 is in her legs,” he added.
Nakaayi is in a nine-strong field which has four others who have run under two minutes this season; Australian Catriona Bisset (1:58.09), German Katharina Trost (1:58.68), American Grace Kate (1:59.04) and Briton Adelle Tracey (1:59.50).
Meanwhile, Musagala will also go for the mile race. He posted 3:38.69 in a distant 12th place in Hengelo but the man who posted the third fastest time over the 1500m in 2019, is keen on improving. “Almost there,” noted Musagala.
The 28-year-old is however in a tough 13-man field that comprises familiar 1500m competitors such as homeboy Jakob Ingebrigtsen who is eyeing Briton Steve Cram’s European record of 3:46.32.
OSLO DIAMOND LEAGUE
Event: Bislett Games
Venue: Bislett Stadium
City: Oslo, Norway
Established: July 14, 1965
Ugandan in Action: Halimah Nakaayi
(800m), Ronald Musagala (Mile)
Time: LIVE on SS 228, 9PM