Nijel Amos continued his impressive run in 2014 as he won the Diamond League Weltklasse Meeting in Zurich, Switzerland, on Thursday evening.
The youngster finished the race ahead of Djibouti’s Ayanleh Souleiman and Kenya’s 800m World Record Holder David Rudisha.
The local lad finished the race in a time of 1:43.77, just enough to pip his fellow African competitors to the finish line.
In a very exciting race, it was Kenyan runner Sammy Tangui who set the early pace, finishing the first 400meters in 49.69 seconds.
The Kenyan however could not last the pace and dropped off, leaving France’s Pierre Ambroise Bosse to lead the race.
Things however heated up with less than 200 meters to go as a horde of African contenders closed in on him, with Rudisha in particular looking impressive as he attacked from the back.
However, with less than a hundred meters to go, Amos took the lead and kept it to win the race and ultimately the Diamond League championship, his first in his debut year. Souleiman came second, slipping past Rudisha at the finish line.
The Djibouti runner finished the race in 1:43.93, slightly edging off Rudisha by a mere .03seconds.
The win makes Amos the World’s best 800 meters runner of 2014, crowning a year that also saw him become Commonwealth Games champion as well as African Champion. Still at the Weltklasse meeting, another local athlete, Isaac Makwala also made the country proud as he clinched third position in the men’s 400 meters race.
Makwala finished his race behind the American duo of Lashawn Merritt and Gil Roberts who finished in first and second positions respectively.
The reigning African 400 meters champion finished his race in 45.03 seconds, just half a second behind Merritt who finished the race in 44.36 seconds.
By clinching the third position, Makwala is now ranked third in the Diamond League final standings, a position he shares with Saudi Arabia’s Youssef Ahmed Masrahi. Meanwhile, both Amos and Makwala, together with Botswana’s Najing Youth Summer Olympics’ team touched down in the country yesterday.
A combined welcome ceremony for all the athletes, including the Botswana Commonwealth Games team and the Nanjing Summer Olympics Youth team will be held today (Sunday) at the Grand Palm.