• Thebe missed the Rabat edition which could have earned him more points
• He is still in contention to reach IAAF Diamond League final
Baboloki Thebe returned to IAAF Diamond League action on Saturday in London as he finished fourth a tightly contested 400m race. The race was so fiercely contested as the final 100m of the race saw multiple runners scrambling for the first spot.
Thebe did not start the race well and he was in danger of finishing eighth but he recovered well in the final seconds as he accelerated past four athletes to finish fourth. Finishing fourth is usually disappointing but it was important for him to finish the race well as he position earned him five points and improved his position from 9th to 8th in the Diamond League standings.
He is now only two points behind seventh placed Michael Cherry with only one race left before the 400m final. If Thebe finishes in the top three and ahead of Cherry in the last race (to be held in Birmingham on August 18) he could qualify for the Diamond League final.
With only the top seven allowed to participate in the final, Thebe will be determined to finish in the qualifying spots in order to chase the $50 000 prize in the final. The all important 400m final will be held on August 30 IN Zurich, Switzerland.
The African 400m champion recorded a season best of 44.54 in the race as he finished fourth behind Abdalelleh Haroun, Paul Dedewo and Kirani James. Thebe missed the Rabat edition of the race almost a fortnight ago, he stood a chance to tally more points in the race and elevate to a top seven spot if he had participated in the race.
An explanation for his absence in the race is yet to be revealed but he will focus his attention on the Birmingham race next month. As it stands Haroun has amassed 35 points this year, he is the only athlete who has officially qualified for the final with one race to spare.
The likes of Isaac Makwala, Dedewo and Steven Gardiner are comfortably in the top seven and not in danger of missing out on the final but they will have to participate in Birmingham to officially ensure their spots in the final and avoid being eclipsed by the chasing pack.