A three year hiatus from the 400m races has seen Amantle Montsho’s status as the most feared competitor disappear overnight, the former 400m world champion temporarily bowed out of the spotlight due to a two year doping ban. The three time 400m IAAF Diamong League champion has successfully qualified for the 2017 IAAF World Championships after recording a 52 seconds clocking in the women’s 400m final of the BAA Francistown series over the weekend.
Her participation on the world stage will give her an immediate chance to make up for lost time and attempt to reclaim a world title she last won in 2011. Montsho suffered a major heartache after losing out on a gold medal at the 2013 World Championships, she was beaten by British sprint queen Christine Ohuruogu by a tenth of a second after diving across the finish line to upset Montsho.
The race grabbed world headlines as Montsho, who was regarded by many as the deserving winner, could only find solace in her silver medal finish. Montsho was denied the chance to participate in the 2015 World Championships due to her doping ban.
The 33 year old Montsho was a part of the world’s 400m holy quartet which also included Sanya Richards-Ross (32), Christine Ohuruogu (32) and Allyson Felix (31), the quartet was the world’s highest ranking female competitors and they were the best for almost a decade.
During her absence her rivals capitalized by winning numerous honours that she once had a stranglehold on. Ohuruogu won gold at the 2013 Commonwealth Games along with the above mentioned world title in the same year, Felix won gold at the 2015 global competition.
Her arch nemesis, Richards-Ross, unfortunately retired in 2016 after suffering a career ending hamstring injury. This means that the world of athletics will be starved of the epic ‘rematch’ of four of the greatest 400m female sprinters of all time in London this year.