“We have to focus; we have to remain in training. Because, next year is (the) Olympics,” Nanyondo said. “This year, there’s nothing. Just only diamond leagues. And the other year is world championships.”
The Diamond League is a series of top-tier athletic competitions for elite athletes. Most of the competitions have been cancelled, although there is hope one might take place in Monaco this August. Uganda’s National Council of Sports admits the pandemic has posed challenges for athletes to stay fit and motivated.
Ismail Dhakaba is the National Council of Sports spokesperson.
"It's been very challenging. Because in an Olympic year is when the athletes are most fit,” Dhakaba said. “I've got to say, that's when their bodies, their minds, are in the best shapes of their lives. Because they are trying to do everything to win Olympic gold or to raise their status. Now, without the Diamond League happening, it's a very unfortunate situation, for one reason, that, that's where they make most of their money."
These Ugandan athletes hope that restrictions on international competitions can be lifted as soon as possible. Nakaaayi wants to race at the Diamond League in Monaco in August, assuming that COVID-19 is by then under control.