Montsho rediscovers old touch

Bapati Mmotlanyane

Botswana’s sprint queen Amantle Montsho has regained her national 400m crown as she stormed to gold at the Botswana Athletics Associations National Championships held in Francistown over the weekend. Montsho’s redemption is turning into a storybook comeback with every race she laces up her spikes for.

The former 400m world champion has started to show glimpses of a remarkable champion that was rinsed from the claws of a costly ban that has kept her away from the track for some time.  Like any other positive athlete Montsho has taken this criticism as motivation, before her long climb back to the perch from which she once fell from.

As the IAAF Championships loom large on the horizon such a peak for an aging athlete in Montsho could stand firm to defy the age factor as she could be poised to repeat her historic feat in Daegu, South Korea 5 years ago and win gold and possibly make it a double with a contingent of a young quartet of Botswana’s 400m relay team at the upcoming IAAF World Champions in London.

Such would take an even mercurial performance from Montsho as her  nemesis in Allyson Felix is now under the shadows of a new dominant quarter miler in Shaunae Miller from Bahamas who is the Olympic Gold medalist, current world leader and Diamond League leader after her commanding victory at this past weekend’s meet in Shanghai. Montsho will be hoping to soon get an invitation to compete in the IAAF Diamond League just to measure her progress in terms of international competition.

Montsho has admitted that she is making progress in terms of getting her body back into shape. “I am really happy with my progress so far, I am using all this races as preparations for the World Championships,” noted Montsho.

When quizzed about her early significant peak Montsho was shy to play down the thought of her even getting better before the World Championships. “For me reaching my peak as early as now gives me too much belief that I will soon be at the stage I fully understand, so I will keep working hard to make sure I am ready to compete in London,” answered Montsho.

Still at the BAA Championships there was a double delight for Team Botswana as former African Champion Isaac Makwala and third ranked local quarter miler Christine Botlogetswe punched their respective tickets to the World Championships sealing their qualifications with respective times of 44:92 and 51:82 adding to a potent list of athletes who have already qualified for the showpiece in August. Botswana’s 400m prodigy Karabo Sibanda reigned supreme in the ever competitive 400m cadre as he was crowned the national champion retaining the title from Baboloki Thebe.