- Recently ranked third with 16 points
- Her next race is this Saturday
Christine Botlogetswe could be the second local athlete to make it to this year’s Diamond League (DL) final. This is if she finishes in the top seven during the next DL meet billed for Paris, France this coming Saturday; Nigel Amos (800m) remains the only local athlete who has qualified thus far.
Botlogetswe is currently ranked third in the ladies 400m qualification table with 16 points, ahead of her is second placed Stephenie McPherson (Jamaica) with 24 points and the first positioned Salwa Eid Naser (Bahraini) who has amassed 32 points. To attain her 16 points, Botlogetswe finished third during the Shanghai Meet (18 May) and Rabat meet (16 June) before settling for the sixth position during the Lausanne meet which was held on July 5.
Her coach Justice Dipeba told Gazette Sport in an interview that the local ladies 400m sensation’s preparations for the Paris DL meet are progressing well. “ And I am hopeful that she is going to qualify because she has been working hard and fine tuning for this race, I mean she just needs to be in the top seven to qualify,” he noted. “Making it to the finals will be a good achievement for her as this is one of the most competitive events in the World. This will help her build her confidence going forward to the World Championships.”
However Dipeba told this publication that should Botlogetswe make it to the final, she will not have an easy go as the DL final usually pits together the best female 400m athletes in the World. “So considering that our target is to do well and finish in one of the respectable positions at the finals if she qualifies,” he stated. The ladies 400m finals are scheduled for Zurich, Switzerland on the 29th of this month.
The Rakops born athlete will be going to Paris knowing that she has to give her all to qualify for the Zurich final which is rewarded with money of P550 000 whereas finishing second yields money worth P220 000 while the third position comes with P110 000 prize money. Finishing in the top eight still produces reasonable prize money as the last spot is worth over P 20 000. Amantle Montsho (400m) remains the only local female athlete to have won the DL, she claimed it three times.
Meanwhile the 2018 the ladies Africa Athletics Championships silver medallist in Botlogetswe has enjoyed a successful season thus far by dishing nail biting performances time and time again. She attained 51.17 during the memorial Leon Buyle meet staged in Oordegem, Belgium, before that, the 23 year old athlete registered 51.29 to qualify for the IAAF World Championships and Tokyo 2020 Olympics during the Shanghai DL meet. Prior to that, Botlogetswe recorded 52.17 during the Gaborone International meet; this is before she clocked 52.23 on her season opener at the South African Grand Prix. She currently holds a personal best and seasonal best of 50.48.
On a different note, the duo of Botlogetswe and Amos will miss the ongoing African Games due to DL commitments while Isaac Makwala is expected to make a return to the track at the games following a spell on the side-lines due to the injury he sustained three months back.