Botswana’s 800m superstar Nijel Amos has admitted that he struggles to deal with the pressure of being the favourite, but insists that improvements to his technique are transforming him into a human sports car.
“If you look at my running style, it’s changed a lot,” said the middle distance star in the Rabat edition of the Wanda Diamond League Call Room which is set to air on Facebook and Youtube at 18.00 GMT on Sunday.
“I always joke with my friends and say I used to run a Toyota Corolla. Now I’m trying to be more like a Bugatti and have everything going smooth!”
Amos also admitted that he struggles to shake off the pressure of being top dog, claiming that “my biggest rival is myself”. Having won an Olympic silver medal in 2012 and back-to-back Diamond League titles in 2014 and 2015, Amos was favourite at the World Championships in 2017, but slumped to a disappointing fifth place in the final.
“When I came up, David Rudisha was the king. He was always winning the 800m, so I was the underdog. There was less pressure and less stress,” said Amos.
“In 2017, I was the guy to beat. I had never been in that position. I was there physically, but not mentally. I couldn’t even apply lotion onto my body, my manager had to help me!”
Having returned to his best form with a 1:41.89 meeting record in Monaco, the Botswana star then suffered a similar setback as favourite in the Diamond League Final in Zurich last year, losing out to the USA’s Donovan Brazier after a strong start.
“In Zurich, I was a Golf GTi!” joked Amos. “I went too hard in the beginning! After Monaco, I was too
excited, too confident.” https://www.completesports.com/amos