SHARE | Sunday, 19 April 2015 | By Ontametse Sugar
WELL PREPARED; Makwala during his training at the UB StadiumPIC: OMANG KILANO
Makwala leads relay teams
Botswana’s own Isaac Makwala – the 400 metres African champion – will as from next week travel with the ladies and men relay teams for the Penn Relays and then the IAAF World Relays. Both the senior male and female four by four (4 by 4) teams will be leaving on April 22, 2015 to go and compete in the relays. From the Penn Relays they will then go to the IAAF world relays in Bahamas that will take place on May 2-3, 2015. The male relay team comprises of Isaac Makwala, Pako Seribe, Leaname Maotoanong, Kamberuka Zakaria and Onkabetse Nkobolo. The Team Manager, Roland Masalila, said that they would have loved to go with Nijel Amos but he pulled out due to an injury. The female team comprises of Lydia Jele, Goitseone Seleka, Leungo Matlhaku, Christine Botlogetswe and Oarabile Babolai. The teams are coached by Justice Dipeba. Masalila pleaded with Batswana to support the two teams mostly the female team because it will be their first experience to compete at a world event. “It is still a learning curve for the ladies team, but we want to give them the stage to shine,” he said. Masalila said it is important that they are given all the support more so that their experienced athlete Amantle Montsho won’t be available to lead the team. He said they have put their trust in the male team to finish in the top eight because then they will automatically qualify for Olympics in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil next year. He said that the times that the male team registers individually are very good. He said they are leaving early to go and take part in the Penn Relays before they grace the world stage in order to prepare the teams well. When they come back to Botswana after two weeks that is when the sprinter Makwala will begin his solo league tours in Jamaica, starting on May 9. This will be followed by Diamond League race on May 17 in Shanghai before returning to the USA for the May 30 Diamond League race in Eugene. He said that the last race for his tour will be in September. The sprinter said that he will only come back to Africa when he goes to compete in the All Africa games in Congo-Brazzaville. He said training has been going well for him this season and that he started it on a good note. He said that he is ready to go and compete and see how he matches up with the athletes around the world. Makwala said he is fit enough this year to be able to finish in the top three in every race that he takes part in. He said that he wants this mostly during the World Championships that will be on August 22-30, 2015 “I am very ready to start the competitions. Last year I had a great season and I want to continue with that,” he said. Last year he did manage to defend his African title and broke the Africa record. He referred to 2014 as a very fantastic year and believes that 2015 will be even more eccentric.