Botswana’s up and coming 800 meters men’s running sensation, Nijel Amos, continues to shine in the international arena. The 18-year-old sensation was at it again this past Saturday at the Olympic qualifiers in Germany where he set Botswana’s new 800 meters record.
The youngster bettered Botswana’s 800 meters’ decade long standing national record of 1:44.47, which was set by Otukile Lekote in 2001. Amos, who had qualified for the Olympics in a B standard qualifying time of 1:46:21 earlier this year, improved his times as he clocked an impressive 1:43:11 to win the race in Germany.
The weekend result means Amos has now ran the second fastest time in the 800 meters event this year, while also qualifying for the Olympics with an outright A standard qualifying time in the process. The only athlete to have ran the fastest time in the 800 meters event this year is the current reigning world champion, David Rudisha of Kenya who ran 1:41.7 during the same weekend in a race in New York.
Commenting on the youngsters’ mind-blowing performance that saw him win the race in Germany, the Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) Secretary General, Legojane Kebaitse, was full of praises for the youngster, saying his impressive run now opens the door for other young athletes to qualify for the Olympics. With the Olympics only a month and a few days away, Amos’ performance is sure to give the country hope of good representation at the world’s premiere sporting event.
Meanwhile, the BAA Secretary General says the country’s athletics team’s preparations for the Olympics are continuing and the association is still hopeful that more athletes will qualify. Aside from another up and coming sprinter, Yatea Kambepera, who is injured, Kebaitse says the country’s other track stars are preparing well and the BAA is hopeful more will have qualified for the Olympics after the Africa Senior Track and Field, which are to be held in Benin towards the end of this month. The BAA Secretary General is, however, hopeful that Kambepera will recover well in time to start his Olympic qualifying preparations.
Kebaitse says based on current performance, there is hope that the country’s 400 x 400 meters men’s relay team will make the Olympics team. “Currently, only top 16 relay teams qualify for the showpiece and we are very optimistic our relay team can qualify. At the moment, they are on the top 18 in the world and if they shed a few seconds off their current time, they can qualify,” Kebaitse said. He says what makes BAA even more hopeful is that the team has shown improvement in the past races, something which saw them move from being positioned 20th in the world to their current 18th spot.