After a long time of hard work and concentration towards qualification to the Olympics in the last couple of months, Shida Leni’s curtain easily fell down in Tokyo, Japan.
In a bid to qualify for the semi-finals of the women’s 400M, all she could do was finish in the 6th position out of the eight (8) participants in the race.
But a fair judgment would be appropriate given the level of opposition she faced and the time she recorded in the race having overcome many qualification challenges recently.
Her bid to become the first Ugandan sprinter at the Olympics in 13 years was successful but her endeavors to further the achievement could not be possible given the presence of Allyson Felix of USA (50:84 seconds), Jamaican Roneisha McGregor (51:14 seconds), Lada Vondrová of Czeck Republic (51:14 seconds) and British Ama Pipi (51:17 seconds) in that order. Ahead of Shida in the 5th position came Brazilian Tiffani Marinho (52:11 seconds).
A timing of 52.48 seconds could not guarantee a semi-final date as well as a would be final scheduled for later this week.
Olympics aside, it should be remembered that two years ago in the Qatari capital of Doha, Leni became the first Ugandan sprinter to feature at the World Championships since Davis Kamoga scooped 400m silver at the 1997 Athens edition.
The thirteen (13) years of the absence of a Ugandan sprinter at that level was recorded after Justine Bayiga participated in the Beijing 2008 games.
Shida Leni has a long list of races in Europe towards the end of this year.
Shida Leni in numbers
Broke her personal record 4 times in 400M from 51:72 seconds to 51:69 seconds, 51:58 seconds, 51:54 seconds and currently standing at 51:47 seconds.
Broke Justine Bayiga’s 12 year National Record in 200M.
Won Silver in World University Games in Napoli, Italy.
Won Bronze in The All Africa Games in Morocco.
Participated in 400M Heats at The World Championships in Doha, Qatar.
Finished 6th in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after clocking 52:48 seconds.