Is Masalela Botswana’s Rising 800m Star?

With Paris ’24 approaching, the 25-year old athlete has been running the 800m race like a bat out of hell and drawing records to his name like pins to a magnet


In the vibrant world of athletics, few names have emerged as dramatically in recent times as that of Tshepiso Masalela.

With the 25-year-old native of the resort town of Maun, Botswana is making waves in the 800m race. He is steadily building a reputation that promises not only to honour the country’s storied history in the sport but also to elevate it to new heights.

On 13 May 2023, Masalela showcased his formidable prowess at Kenya’s Kip Keino Classic held at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, Nairobi, clocking an impressive 1:45.24s. This performance was a precursor to his stellar run at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest on 24 August 2023 where he bettered his time to 1:44.24s.


Not one to rest on his laurels, Masalela further shaved off milliseconds to achieve a remarkable 1:44.03 at the Memorial Van Damme in Brussels on 8 September 2023. The beginning of 2024 saw Masalela continue his stride with notable indoor aplomb.

Opening his season at the Czech Indoor Gala in Ostrava, he ran a solid 1:46.41s. He followed this with an improved 1:45.56s at the Metz Moselle Athleor in Metz on 3 February 2024 and a 1:46.07s at the ORLEN Copernicus Cup in Toruń.

His indoor season culminated at the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Glasgow on 1st March where he clocked 1:46.76s.

The 20th of April 2024 marked a significant milestone for Masalela when he delivered a sensational performance at the Wanda Diamond League Xiamen, recording a personal best of 1:43.88s. This blistering time reaffirmed his status as a formidable contender on the global stage.

Kip Keino Classic

Continuing his outdoor season, he returned to the Kip Keino Classic in Nairobi on13 May, clocking 1:45.24s, followed by a strong 1:44.14s at the Meeting International Mohammed VI d’Athlétisme de Rabat/Marrakech on 19 May.

Most recently, on 2 June, Masalela competed in the BAUHAUS-Galan Diamond League in Stockholm, achieving a time of 1:44.44s.

Masalela’s rapid ascension is not just a testament to his personal dedication and talent but also reflects Botswana’s rich athletic tradition. His performances invoke memories of Botswana’s historic first Olympic medal, a silver in the 800 metres won by Nijel Amos at the 2012 London Olympics.


As Masalela eyes the upcoming 2024 Olympics in Paris, scheduled from July 26 to August 11, he is poised to become only the second Motswana to secure an Olympic medal in the 800m race.

Masalela’s journey is one of resilience and relentless pursuit of excellence. His steady improvement in times, coupled with his strong showing across various international meets, underscores his potential to not just participate but dominate in Paris.

His performances have been characterised by a blend of tactical acumen and sheer speed, making him a formidable competitor capable of challenging the world’s best.

Upward trajectory

The anticipation surrounding Masalela’s participation in Paris 2024 is palpable. His recent performances have not only made him a beacon of hope for Botswana but have also drawn the attention of the global athletics community.

Should he continue his upward trajectory, Masalela could very well be on his way to etching his name onto the pages of athletics history alongside those of other greats of middle-distance running.

As the world prepares to gather in Paris for the Games of the XXXIII Olympiad, Masalela stands ready to seize his moment on the grandest stage. However, the question remains, has Botswana found a new hero whose strides on the track resonate with the hopes and dreams of the entire nation in Masalela?

As he prepares for Paris 2024, the world watches in anticipation, eager to witness the next chapter in the remarkable story of Botswana’s athletic ascent.