- Dipeba pleads with her to return to track
- Coaches still confident of her ability
- Athlete might only compete in two months time
Former 400m World Champion Amantle has been begged to return from retirement by national team coach Justice Dipeba, Gazette Sport has established.
Montsho, who has been running for more than a decade now has been an influential member of the national team winning several international championships. She is the first Motswana athlete to win a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games (2010), IAAF World Championships (2011) and the IAAF Diamond League.
But lo and behold, Montsho’s sensational career was dealt with a heavy blow in 2014 after she tested positive to a banned substance, methylhexaneamine during the Commonwealth Games and was given a two year ban. The 35 year old athlete nevertheless returned strong in 2017 finishing the year with a seasonal best (SB) of 51.28 before claiming the Commonwealth Games 400m Championship for a second time during the 2018 Glasgow, Australia edition. She holds a personal best of 49.33 in 400m and is the national record holder.
However following a sensational 2018 season and glamorous career, this publication understands that Montsho was not planning to return to the track this year but was convinced to reverse her decision by Dipeba who has since confirmed the news to Gazette Sport.
“Yes it is true that I convinced her to return, because I trust that she still has something to offer looking at what she did last year at the Commonwealth Games. I still believe that even if she does not run the individual race, she will be a very important member of the ladies relay team,” Dipeba said. “So I went out and had a chat with her to show her importance to us and i must say that she was happy about that and agreed to come back to help the young athletes , she even turned up for training and she is working very hard to get back to her normal shape.”
Quizzed if he turned to Montsho because he believes Botswana does not have enough ladies 400m athletes, Dipeba had this to say; “ we do have 400m athletes but they are still young and are in need of Montsho’s guidance looking at her experience. I mean they are yet to reach her standard and even at her age she can still perform better than some of them.”
Dipeba who is also a former athlete said he is happy with the athlete’s progress in training. “ I do not want to rush her because i am aware that it sometimes takes time for athletes of her age to return to full fitness so i ought to be very careful,” he said. “ I do not want to rush her to competition and i am managing her training accordingly as i do not want to tire her. Looking at her performance in training i think she will be able to compete in the next two months.”
He went on to note that Montsho did not have a particular reason to quit athletics , “ but she just felt that she had done her part and wanted to leave with a good mark. She indeed did that looking on what she did last year at the Commonwealth Games, i mean she was suspended for two years, returned and neared her personal best within just two years.”