Big test for Botswana stars

SHARE   |   Monday, 24 August 2015   |   By Othusitse Tlhobogang
Makwala and Amos Makwala and Amos

A tough competition is expected at the 15th IAAF World Championships in China where local athletes take on the world’s finest on the track. Batswana’s hopes are pinned on their own highly rated athletes Isaac Makwala and Nigel Amos to bring home silverware.
Batswana are expecting that runners continue the good performance they have been displaying at the 2015 IAAF Diamond League.
Today (Sunday) all eyes are on Makwala, as he kick-starts his quest to bring home a medal as in 400m event. The 29-year-old will, however, be facing a massive competition from the likes of Wayde van Niekerk and Kirani James who are ranked position 2nd and 3rd in the world respectively. 
Makwala, who will be representing the country in the 400m race, is currently the World’s leading athlete with a time of 43.72 seconds while Amos is on the second spot in the world in 800m. This has heightened the hopes of Batswana that the athletes will bring home some medals from the championships.
Amos is also expected to make it with easy to the finals where he will be battling it out for a medal against the world record holder David Rudisha as well as the current world leading Amel Tuka. The 800m final is one of the most awaited showdowns at the championships, because of the great contest among runners.  
Amos has been outrunning Rudisha in every meet since the 2012 Olympics. Even though foreign commentators continue to speak highly of Rudisha, Amos on the other hand proves he still got a lot to offer.  
The other performance that Batswana will be looking out for is the interesting 4*400m relay which also promises to develop into a strong force. The team is made up of capable athletes including Onkabetse Nkobolo, Sakarea Kamberuka, Leaname Maotoanong and Makwala. The relay team is currently holding the Africa championship title and will be looking at testing their capabilities at the world stage. All the athletes representing Botswana at the World Championships have qualified to for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
When sending the team off to the championships Botswana National Sports Commission chairperson Solly Reikeletseng showed confidence that they will do well. He pointed that he challenge they are in is not a new one as they are familiar with it. “This is a big stage but it is not an unusual one. We are sure that they will bring medals because that is what they always do,” he said.
Reikeletseng said if they want to win they should not be concerned with other athletes but what they themselves can do. He advised them to aim on beating their own personal best times and then a win will be guaranteed. After the World Championships the team will go and take part at the Africa Games starting on the 4th September 2015 in Congo Brazzaville.


Schedule for Botswana athletes

Activity  Date  TIME (LOCAL)
800m heats  22nd August 2015 05:50am
800m semi-finals  23rd  August 2015  14:15pm
800 finals 25th  August 2015 14:55pm
400m heats 23rd August 2015 05:10am
400m semi-finals  24TH August 2015 14:05pm
400m finals 26th August 2015 15:25pm 
High Jump qualifications  28th August 2015  03:45pm
High jump finals 30th August 2015 12:30pm
Relay 4*400m heats 29th August 2015 04:40am
Relay 4*400m finals  30th August 2015 14:25pm

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