Amos writes his-story...breaks Botswana’s Olympic duck
by Botlhale Koothupile
Thursday the 9th of August 2012 will forever go down in the local sporting history as the day Botswana won her first Olympic Games medal, a feat first achieved by teenaged Motswana athlete, Nijel Amos.
Coming off a very impressive vein of form going into this year’s Olympics, the teenage running sensation’s impressive run into the country’s athletic history continued this past week as he won a silver medal at the London Summer Olympics.
Barely less than a month after going into the history books as the first young Motswana to win a gold medal at the World Youth Championships in Barcelona, Spain, the 18-year-old Marobela-born track starlet was at it again this past Thursday as he became the first Motswana athlete to win an Olympic medal. The youngster ran an impressive personal best time of 1:41.73 to come second in the race behind reigning World Champion David Lekuta Rudisha of Kenya who won a gold with an impressive new world record of 1:40.90.
Through his heroics on the athletics track, Amos won Botswana her maiden medal while also setting a new World Junior record time. The time also puts the youngster on 3rd position in the list of the world’s all time greats in the men’s 800 meters event, a position he shares with former 800 meters track great, Sebastian Coe, of Great Britain.
With all the attention on star athlete Amantle Montsho going into this year’s London Summer Olympics, “Zorro,” as Amos is affectionately known within the local athletics’ circles, quietly ran his way into the history books with an amazing rich vein of form.
After running this year’s second fastest time of 1:43.11 in the men’s 800 meters race in Mannheim, Germany, the youngster showed his mettle at this year’s World Junior Championships in Barcelona when he won a gold medal despite running with an injury and with his thigh heavily strapped.
Carrying on his rich vein of form, the youngster then came first in his debut Olympic race heats, ensuring he has a safe passage to the semi finals where he managed 2nd position to set himself a date with destiny.
With no heavy expectations weighing on him and no one giving him a chance against a field full of seasoned professionals in the finals, the youngster showed maturity in his race and gave Batswana their long awaited Olympic medal.
After pacing himself well behind the leading pack that included, among others, race leader Rudisha, the youngster turned on the heat in the last 200 meters of the race and surged past other athletes in front of him but could not dislodge Rudisha who went on to smash the World Record he had set. Amos’ win means Botswana breaks her Olympic duck and now has set building blocks for the next Olympics.