The 2013 edition of the Samsung Diamond League season starts on May 10 in Doha, Qatar, with Botswana’s top two athletes, Amantle Montsho and Nijel Amos, featuring in the competition as they strive to retain their places amongst the global elite.
Botswana’s premier athletics duo grabbed the headlines with record breaking performances last year but they have to reproduce last season’s form to keep their ri- vals at bay. Sidney 2000 Olympic finalist and Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) vice president (technical), Glody Dube, believes that the pair have the ability to dominate races again this year. “Amantle and Nijel are strong athletes who share the same hunger to win. If they aspire to do better than last year then we can expect more outstanding performances from them. It will be a tough year but I expect them to win numerous accolades this year,” said Dube.
Montsho has won the past two Diamond League tournaments. Her 2011 triumph was sealed with a landslide margin after winning six races to claim the women’s 400m title. Last year she participated in only six races and won two of them, in most races she was runner-up, a factor that helped her clinch first place spot overall.Her main rival last year was United States (US) runner Sanya Richards Ross. The American won three races in the Diamond League compared to Amantle’s two victories. The former’s poor performances in the first races allowed the latter to gain more points as her second place finishes helped her gain a comfortable lead over her rival. “Amantle has all the credentials to win her third consecutive Diamond League title because she is a hard working individual. But in order to do so she has to be strategic in all her races because her opponents have surely studied her moves. She is the most watched 400m runner and they have scouted her performances. She should do the same to assess their strengths and weaknesses,” continued Dube.
British athlete Christine Ohuruogu and Jamaican Novlene Williams Mills will also pose a threat to Montsho’s chances of retaining her crown.Amos will be contesting for the 800m crown in this year’s multi series Diamond League events. The 18-year-old Olympic medalist will be battling it out against world record holder David Rudisha among other runners. The teenager and his counterpart were involved in what is regarded by many as the fastest 800m race in Olympic history.
The Kenyan has broken 10 world records since 2009 and set an impressive 1:40.91 timing at the London 2012 Olympic Games. However, Amos is a record breaker in his own right. The youngster is third on the IAAF’s list of all time records in the 800m category; his 1:41.73 record in the Olympic Games has earned him a place in the history books. “If Nijel trains well he has a chance of upsetting the odds by eventually beating Rudisha. It is a tall order but the fact that Rudisha will not participate in all the Diamond League races could work in Amos’ favour. He has to make sure he wins most of those races to accumulate points,” the BAA vice president concluded.
In preparation for the Diamond League, Montsho is currently at a high performance training centre in Dakar, Senegal, while Amos is based in Potchefstroom, South Africa. The Samsung sponsored series will have 14 events for each race category over five months.