Nigel Amos, Botswana’ s 2012 London Olympic Silver medalist cruised to victory in the 800 meters in his season opener at Gaborone International Athletics Meet on Saturday. Amos dominated the race and clocked 1:47:72 in a field that looked less strong in his standards. This was Amos’s first race since his dip in form in 2016 that saw him failing to finish on podium at the Beijing World Championships and Rio Olympics.
The Marobela born athlete led up front with the pacemaker which was much of different approach to his well renowned race tactic of staying deep in the pack. The pair stayed ahead of the pack to clock a slow opening lap of 52.23 with no one willing to go past Amos as the inexperienced field waited for him to move.
When the 24 year old former Youth Champion finally did start rolling with 150 to go no one could challenge him as he hammered to the line on the home stretch with plenty of wheels left after a slow opener. Amos could not hide his delight as his raised his arms in celebration having weathered a rough patch of a frustrating year of an injury and setbacks in major competitions.
Botswana’s Shepherd Kenatshele and South Africa’s Derrison Siyabonga grabbed the other medals in 1:48:57 and 1:48:83 respectively. Crucially though, Amos, local chief rival and current local 800 meter Champion Boitumelo Masilo was among the absentees at the meeting after sustaining an injury at the just ended IAAF World Relays at Bahamas.
“The race plan was all about time, but all I can say is I will be running like I did in the diamond league I will be all out to see how fast I can go,” said Amos after the race.
Still at the Gaborone International Meet World Championships bound Lydia Jele won the women’s 400m race clocking 51:66 finishing ahead fomer local world Champion and the reigning African champion from Zamabia Kabange Mupopo.
Another highlight of the meet was the men’s 100m where Lesotho’s undisputed champion and an Olympic semi-finalist Mosito Lehata sprinted off to with time of 10:20 while Zambia’s merging superstar Sidney Siame who holds a world lead and a season’s best of 9:88 and settled for silver at a time of 10:47 leaving Bronze for his fellow compatriot in Hazemba Chindamba.
Local 400m athletes like Isaac Makwala and Baboloki Thebe, Karabo Sibanda and Onkabetse Nkobolo all were not part of the action as they are nursing injuries and still reeling from the Bahamas fatigue, the quartet is expected to go head to head in the next coming two weeks at Botswana Athletics National Championships to decide the local 400 meter title.