… says Nijel Amos who aims to upgrade his World Junior title into a World Championship

Gazette Reporter

Botswana’s flamboyant track runner, Nijel Amos, will embark on a journey to convert his World Junior Champion title that he won in Barcelona, Spain in 2012 into a World Champion title at the highly-anticipated World Athletics Championships billed for Oregon, United States of America in June.

After numerous failed attempts, Amos is even more determined to complete his international major championship achievements by adding the World Championship title to his trophy cabinet. He will be heading to the championships with increased confidence, more so that they will be held at a place he considers his home away from home since his arrival in Eugene six years ago where he is based under the tutelage of the world-renowned gaffer Mark Rowland.

His attempts to win the same title hit a snag in Beijing in 2015 where he was eliminated in the second semi-final. Amos came back strong in London 2017 but finished 5th in the final, missing a podium finish once again. Things got worse for him at the 2019 World Championships in Doha when he shocked the world by withdrawing from the competition in heat 2 owing to an injury after starting well in the first round.

In an interview with Gazette Sport recently, Amos said he was going into this year’s championships rejuvenated and his eyes set on the gold that he has been preparing hard for. “This is my time,” he said matter-of-factly. “The gold is mine because I believe in myself that it is this time around.”

“I have been on the hunt for this medal three times but have failed due to several reasons which are all in the past. I am happy that these championships will be held in Oregon, a place I call home away from home and the love and support that I receive from the community there will fuel me to the gold.”

The 2012 Olympic silver medallist prides himself in his famous motto of “Tatamila Woloto,” which means “Chase your Dreams” in his mother tongue, Ikalanga. Now a household name around the world, Amos became a professional track athlete a decade ago and is currently the world’s fastest man in the 800m. “I am very proud that I have been so consistent on the track despite not winning at all times but survived a lot during this not so simple journey,” he told Gazette Sport.

“My progress was sometimes hindered by injuries but I did not give up. I have continued to try my best and am still trying my best, hence I believe that this is my year, no matter what. I am grateful to my coaches who have given me much-needed support and have taken care of my mental health when things were not going well for me.”

Amos’ renewed self-confidence is fully understood by senior national team coach, Justice Dipeba, who says he strongly believes that Botswana’s supreme track athlete will finish on the podium this year because of the positive energy that Amos has on and off the field. “He is a very energetic young man and is hungry for victory,” Dipeba said in an interview. “Amos has been working very hard and has told us about going for gold.

“We are fully behind him because we also believe in him. I am also happy that he inspires youngsters in training and everyone wants to win like him so they get a two-bedroomed house like some of their teammates. It is going to be a very busy year for us this season, starting at the Africa Senior Championships and the World Championships in June. The World Under 20 Junior Athletics Championships and the Commonwealth Games are also happening this year.”