The country has won only one medal ever since it featured in Olympic Games 39 years ago and the medal was courtesy of Nijel Amos’s silver in 800m during the 2012 Summer Games.
Even so, with less than 230 days to the games that are billed for Tokyo, Japan from the 24 until the 9th of August 2020, Amos is tipped to repeat the 2012 feat and win the country’s second medal at the Olympics. He is part of the three local athletes that have already qualified for the world prestigious games along side Galefele Moroko and Christine Botlogetswe, the trio are all from athletics.
According to Kenyan sports jouranlist who works with Olympic Channel in Evelyn Watta, Zoro as Amos is otherwise known is capable of finishing in the podium in Tokyo. “He is capable of doing so much; he is the one who can easily improve David Rudisha’s 800m World Record (WR),” Watta stated in an interview with Gazette Sport. “Remember this is the guy who finished second in an epic WR race in London in 2012. He will always be a threat and he will obviously go in as a favourite for the gold medal if he makes the final makes the final in Tokyo.”
Watta believes Zoro is under immense to pressure to deliver in Tokyo because the games are likely to be the last one that will determine his carrer. “He might still have a shot at another Olympics (2024) but looking at the way 800m runs or keeps changing, you rarely have a three time Olympian in the race,” said Watta. “So this is the best chance for him to get the gold medal that he missed in London and Rio. He is one of the finest middle distance runners and it is just a matter of time to see when he can finally take a gold medal out-side the Diamond League and other competitions which are not on the top.”
Watta’s words comes as no surprise as Amos has enjoyed a rich vein of form this year in such way that he showed glimpses of the 2012 young Amos who emerged from the callow and left the world awe struck after finishing second behind Kenyan, David Rudisha, in a blistering 2012 London Olympics 800m final by recording a personal best (PB) of 1:41.73. He showed those glimpses earlier this year when he clocked 1:41.89s during the Monaco Diamond League race; that is the run that became the fastest time in 800m since the 2012 epic Olympic final.
The 25 year old athlete also clocked a PB in 400m (44.99) during the Meeting Citta’ Di Padova in Italy. His time of 44.99s ensured that he is the first sub 1:42 800m runner to hold a 400m personal best inside 45 seconds.
Even though he clocked good times, Amos did not win any major title this year. He finished second during the 800 Diamond League final, did not compete at the African Games and pulled out of the IAAF World Championships owing to a hamstring injury. Injuries have been disturbibg Amos’s progress over the previous years and they are seen as the only obtacle that is likely to halt him from winning the country’s second medal at the Olympics.
A reflection of how Amos has been performing over the previous years…
Amos has gone through mesmerizing highs and lows over the previous years mainly due to injuries. Following his superlative performances at the 2012 London Olympics where many thought he is the next best thing in the world of athletics, the year 2013 turned to be a rough year for Amos as he finished the year with a SB of 1:44.71 a time he recorded at Lausanne Switzerland before finishing 2014 with a SB of 1:42.45 attained in Monaco, giving his fans and supporters hope that he was back at the top of his game.
In 2015, Zoro maintained his form from 2014 and it was in Monaco again where he recorded a SB of 1:42.66. But 2016 turned to be a challenging one for him as he finished the year with a lowly SB of 1:44.66. Amos also failed to plot a convincing comeback in 2017, only managing to record a SB of 1:43.18. In 2018 he came from the doldrums and started showing the glimpses of the original young Amos as he finished the year with a SB of 1:42.14 a time recorded in Monaco. This season he currently has a SB of 1:41.89 .