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Makwala targets first Diamond League title

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BONGANI MALUNGA

African 400m champion Isaac Makwala has set himself a target of winning his first IAAF Diamond League title this year. Makwala told Gazette Sport that he is aiming to win the multi series competition as he confirmed his participation for this year’s competition.
The continent’s 400m sprint king has already cemented his place as one of Africa’s greatest athletes having set and broken numerous records in recent years. he has now set sights on gaining more global accolades, starting with the IAAF Diamond League. Rivals LaShawn Merritt, Kerani James and South Africa’s Wayde Van Niekerk will offer him different battles but he has the abilities to defeat them and obtain a podium finish at a global stage.
Makwala has shown in recent years that he is capable of winning the competition although he has come short. The African champion has managed to win one Diamond League meet, he won the Glasgow Grand Prix in July 2014.
His Glasgow victory was special in the sense that it was his debut season in the competition plus the win brought an end to the two man dominance of James and Merritt who had won the first five races of the season.
The title eventually went to Merritt as James and Makwala could not sustain consistent wins that could have propelled them to the title. Last year a hip injury and constantly being placed on the last lanes halted Makwala’s impact in the Diamond League as he could only obtain finishes outside the top three in numerous races.
He has started 2016 on a positive note with an impressive 45.15 clocking in Sasolsburg, South Africa this past weekend. The record was previously a world lead for this year and that is an indication of Makwala’s intentions this year.

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