• His loss came as a surprise - BAA
Botswana’s hopes of getting the 800m medal from the on-going IAAF World Championship have been shuttered following Nijel Amos’ failure to qualify for the race’s finals. Amos’ time of 1:47.96 came short of taking him through as he finished 3rd behind his all-time rival David Rudisha and Musaeb Balla who finished 1st and 2nd respectively.
His loss came as a surprise to many including the Botswana Athletics Association (BAA). BAA spokesperson Rowland Masalila said Amos’ loss has definitely come as a surprise given the good performance he showed prior the championships.
Masalila said they were hoping that Amos will win with ease. “It came to us as a surprise and I even believe that it came to him as a surprise also,” he said. Asked what could have caused the loss, he said maybe the athlete underestimated his opponents leading to his loss. He also pointed out that the pressure put on him by Batswana could have gotten to him.
“More pressure was on Nijel to win than on Rudisha as it was expected of him to continue the good performance,” he explained, saying this also could have had a negative impact on him.
The race was clearly tightly contested as Amos was only 0.03 seconds behind Bella who clocked a time of 1:47.93 while Rudisha finished with a time of 1:47.70. Amos’ personal best time is 1:41.73 seconds, which he recorded at the 2012 London Olympics.
The technique that he always used to beat Rudisha with could not work this time around. Amos usually gives Rudisha all the time he needs to lead the race only to beat him in the last 80m. This was not the case on Sunday afternoon as it seems Rudisha did his homework well.
“It looks like Rudisha has been planning for Amos. As you may know he usually uses his power from the start leaving a little for the finish, however this time around he was a bit slow at the beginning only to pick up towards the end. This is how he beat Amos,” said Masalila.
Amos’ none qualification is not the only one as 400m runner Onkabetse Nkobolo did not make it to the semi-finals. He, however, managed to set a new personal best record of 45.17 seconds. Batswana’s hopes for a medal are however still pinned on Isaac Makwala who made it to the finals. He clocked an impressive 44.11 seconds to sail through to the finals. Makwala had qualified for the semi-finals after finishing third with a time of 44.19 seconds on the heats.
He entered the World Championships as the 2015 World leading 400m runner with 43.72 seconds time, giving hopes that he can still do better. It still remains to be seen if Makwala will keep the hopes going as the competition seems to be tough. The 400m finals will be held on Wednesday at 15:25pm. Other medal hopes are on the high jump sensation Kabelo Kgosiemang and the 4*400m relay team.