This week proved to be yet another fruitful one for Botswana’s sporting personalities, as they continue to proudly put Botswana on the map!
Swimmer James Freeman bags first bronze medal for Botswana
This week saw local swimmer, James Freeman bag the first ever Bronze medal for Botswana in the 1500m freestyle at the ongoing Commonwealth games in the Bahamas. In a country that’s not exactly famed for its swimming talent, this is indeed a feat for the young swimmer. The Pretoria-based 16-year-old has been single-handedly representing Botswana in many a swimming competition. James has broken records before and we strongly believe that his star shines very brightly and is more than likely to get better the older he gets. Well done, James!
Nijel Amos strikes gold in Rabat
This week Nijel Amos continued to put Botswana on the map as he picked up his fourth straight win in the 800m with a stunning time of 1:43.91. Nijel’s latest victory has prompted observers to now view him as a firm favourite to win gold in London next month.
Amos, as he did in Paris and London, got to the lead early and held a five-meter gap on second-place Kipyegon Bett at the bell (49.81 for the rabbit, 50.4 for Amos). Bett was able to close the gap down and at 600 (1:17.10), he was well-positioned to strike, but Amos had another move left in him and accelerated as he hit the home stretch, powering away to take a comfortable win in 1:43.91. Bett held on for second in 1:44.28, as U.S. champ Donavan Brazier was third in 1:44.62.
23-year-old Amos has now won four races on the trot, three on the Diamond League circuit — 1:44.24 in Paris, 1:43.18 in London and 1:43.91 in Rabat, being the latest.
While experts admit Amos is by no means a dead set for gold, they do concede he’s stringing together big win after big win and looks very difficult to beat right now.
Well done, Nijel and all the best for London!
South Africa’s Wayde Van Niekerk holds Makwala into second place at Monaco 2017 IAAF Men’s 400M
While South Africa’s Wayde Van Niekerk is largely seen as being in a class above the rest of the world, having broken the 400m and 300m world records in the past 12 months and being the only sub-44, sub-20, sub-10 man in history, experts admit if anyone has the might to give him a run for his money, it would be Isaac Makwala. Makwala’s last race was an “unreal sub-44 400m an sub-20 200m double, the first man in history to accomplish both marks on the same day.
Perhaps more intriguing are the Diamond Race points up for grabs in this race, as Van Niekerk and Makwala currently sit tied for ninth (eight points) and 11th (six points), respectively, well outside the top eight placing required to make the final after this race’s end.
Job well done, Isaac! Congratulations are also in order for Baboloki Thebe, who came in third. The results are below:
1. Wayde Van Niekerk (RSA) – 43.73
2. Isaac Makwala (Botswana) – 43.84
3. Baboloki Thebe (Botswana)- 44.26
4. Gil Robert (USA) – 44.57
5. Vernon Norwood (USA) – 44.81
6. Luka Janezic (Slovenia) – 44.84
7. Tony McQuay (USA) – 46.04
8. Teddy Atine-Venel (France) – 46.36
Reference: BOPA, letsrun.com, flotrack.org