Duo doing well at the IAAF Diamond League
Following an unsuccessful 2018 in the IAAF Diamond League series, local athletes seem to have found their rhythm in this year’s campaign.
With this year being considered to be very hectic due to preparation of international events like World Championships and qualifying for Tokyo 2020 Olympics, local athletes have been busy battling it out at the Diamond league series where they have so far registered impressive results. According to local athletics analysts Amogelang Masalela and Lentswe Charlie, local athletes can still dish more great performances.
As of now the country’s 800m star Nijel Amos has been doing quite well in his category. His recent memorable performance is the 1.41.89 time he clocked at the Monaco Diamond League where he also set the new meet record and the World Leading time for this year.
With three races to spare, Amos has already qualified for the finals which are slated for Brussels and Zurich from August 29th to September 6th after accumulating 31 points from four races. Only the top eight athletes have the opportunity to slug it out at the finals for the lucrative prize.
Therefore Amos is one of the serious contenders for the $50000 cash prize and Diamond trophy considering his splendid form so far. What might be a catalyst to Amos‘s recent success is his decision to relocate to the USA where he has been training at high performance centre together with other best athletes. With three Diamond league titles already under his name, Amos will be looking to secure the fourth crown; a feat which has never been achieved by anyone in Botswana.
“Amos has consistently improved and registered good times in each race in this campaign. He has the speed, endurance power and is mentally strong .His strategy of running behind the pass setter proved to be working for him. He can still do better in the next coming much but I believe his team will see to it that he does not overdo by competing in many races which can result in exhaustion,” said Masalela.
Another athlete with a scintillating form is Christine Botlogetswe who has so far proven herself as one of the dangerous upcoming 400m superstars.
In the absence of another local star Amantle Montsho, Botlogetswe has gradually improved her performances since the Commonwealth Games last year where she rose to stardom with her personal best times in every race. Having competed in only one Diamond League race in 2018 Botlogetswe seems to be quite determined this season as she has competed in a couple of meets.
She is currently ranked 3rd in 400m with 16 points from three events in the presence of tough athletes like Stephanie McPherson of Jamaica and Salawa Naser – results which gives her hope and assurance that she can compete in her maiden Diamond League finals.
“This is her second season and her performances have been improving with almost every race. Against top athletes she has pulled a great show. With the season left with four months, there is still room for good times and even to record more personal bests in the remaining races,” observed Lentswe.
Despite Amos and Botlogetswe’s dazzling performances, Baboloki Thebe has been having it tough at the Diamond League circuit. Following two races, Thebe has so far managed a mere one point and sits on position 18 on the men’s 400m standings. Having competed in the London Diamond League meet (20th-21st of July), the 22-year-old still has a chance to reach the finals provided he gets podium finish in all the remaining races, something which seems to be possible considering his profile. His 400m compatriot Isaac Makwala is nowhere to be found since he limped out due to an injury during the Shanghai Diamond League meet in May.
“Thebe started the season well with the hunger to clock better times and make his mark but he has been troubled by injuries. His performances are not consistent but he can still surface back to improve his rankings in the league and earn himself a spot in the final during the remaining races. The season is long way to go; so he can redeem himself in the upcoming events such as Africa Games and World Championships,” said Masalela.