Makwala vows to defend African Championship title

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Isaac ‘Iak’ Makwala, Botswana’s 400m runner and the reigning 2012 African 400m men’s champion revealed in an interview with Gazette Sport that with all his upcoming tournaments, his biggest task is  to defend his championship at the African Championships to be hosted in Morocco in 2014.

“Next year I have the Commonwealth games in Scotland on the 23rd July to the 3rd of August. Then from the 10th of August to the 18th August it’s the African championships in Morocco. The African championships are the best and biggest task for me because I am the defending champion. All I want is to bring that gold home for the second time,” Makwala said, adding that he will also work hard to bring a gold medal from the Commonwealth games.

The athlete won the 400m Africa senior title at the Africa senior championships held in Benin in 2012 where he competed   amongst others with South Africa’s duo Oscar Pistorius and Willem De Beer. Though Makwala opted for a slow start, he ended up cruising through in the last 100m to cross the line in a personal best of 45.25 sec; thereby setting a new national record.

Meanwhile, when quizzed about his participation in next year’s Diamond league to be hosted in May, the athlete said he was not ready even though he qualifies for the games. “For the Diamond league, I cannot say I will participate for now because I am still waiting for the season to start to see my performance though my 200m time for 2013 qualifies me to run in the Diamond league,” he said.

When asked if he is willing to change his race distance from 400m to 200m in the near future the athlete said, “changing the races is not going to be easy for me; I like the 400m  as it’s enjoyable even though sometimes it’s complicated unlike the 200m race. But I think if I can run below 20:30 sec again three times in a season I will end up changing my mind.”