Gazette Reporter

Botswana’s most celebrated 4oom track runner Isaac Makwala said he will be fully focusing on competing in short sprints (100m and 200m) instead of the usual 400m ahead of the upcoming international events this year. This comes after he displayed an impressive performance on his season opener at the Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) track and field series held at the weekend in Gaborone.

Makwala clocked 10.61 and 21.38 in 100m and 200m respectively on his return to track following a long break from athletics due to a hectic schedule off track that saw him launch and distribute his book authored by Dr Tshepang Tshube titled “The Solo Runner”. The 400m maestro has decided to fully focus on 200m on his last year of competition as he has long announced that he will be competition for the last time in the year 2022 before he retires from track. In an exclusive interview with Gazette Sport, Makwala confirmed that he will be putting more effort in short sprints as he officially considers 200m his main race. “ I have started my season in a convincing way and I am happy with my progress more so that I have over four months without competing. The weather was not perfect, but I managed to do my best and I am looking forward to other upcoming races before the main ones. I have decided that I will be focusing on 200m, and I have been training hard for it and I don’t think I will be running 400m at the World Championships in Oregon. However, I will be running 400m here and there not as the main race and I have only confirmed only two 400m races in this year’s Diamond League,” he said.

He further stated that he has scheduled few races outside the country in his quest to improve his trade in short sprints before he can take on the world for the last time on track. “I will be competing in South Africa on Wednesday, and I have only registered for short sprints and from there I will be awaiting a litmus test at the highly anticipated Gaborone International Meet slated for my hometown on the 30th of April. I also have few invites in Kenya before I can head to the elite competitions, so it is going to be a hectic year for me, and I must do my best and give my followers across the world a proper goodbye. It is official that I will be a 200m runner instead of the usual 400m and I am happy with the progress I see in the youngsters who are doing well in 400m, and I am sure that the country has not lost in that category,” Makwala added.

In 2017, July 14 Makwala became the first man in history to run a 200m within 20 seconds (19.77s) and 400m within 44 seconds the same day. He is still the national 200m record holder with (19.77s). The Tokyo 2020 relay Bronze Medallist has also confirmed that he will be competing at the Commonwealth Games slated for Birmingham, England in July, World Championships billed for Oregon, USA in June and Africa Senior Championships scheduled for Mauritius in May. He will lastly compete across the world in the Diamond League that starts in May.