Thursday, September 28, 2023

Calf strain dashes Amos’ medal hopes for 800m

Nijel Amos’ ambitions of bidding to do what no man has done in the history of the Commonwealth 800m event to become the first person to successively defend his 800m title were cut short at the Gold Coast due to a calf strain. A struggling Amos came last in the finals of the men’s 800m with a time of 1:48.45, seceding his championship to Wycliffe Kinyamal of Kenya in the process.

According to Botswana Commonwealth Games team media attach├® in Gold Coast, Mpho Aaron, the local lad sustained his injury during the heats on Thursday. While Amos has suffered injuries prior to these games, it is said that the latest is not a recurring injury and the athlete was injury free and fit prior to going to the Gold Coast.

Reports from the Gold Coast indicate that despite his injury concerns, Amos was doing fine and willing to run through the pain barrier when he showed up for the 800m finals.

Entering the race as a favourite, Amos’ strategy, according to Aaron, was to set the pace from the moment the gun rang and lead until the end. The strategy however fell flat on the day as Amos failed to sustain the pace he had set from the onset as the chasing pack, led by Kinyamal, caught up with him on the home straight.

Despite a spirited effort, it was all but game over for Amos as he slowed down, allowing the entire field to pip him to the finish line.

The men’s silver then went to Kyle Langford of England with a time of 1:45.16 while Luke Matthews of Australia clocked his Personal Best (PB) time of 1:45.60 to clinch a bronze medal.

Meanwhile, Botswana’s golden girl Amantle Montsho banished the bad memories of the Glasgow2014 Commonwealth Games with an accomplished display to clinch gold in what may be her last bow at the Commonwealth Games.

Following her first Commonwealth Games gold at the New Delhi in 2010, Montsho failed to defend her championship at Glasgow, where she came fourth in the 400m finals. To add salt to injury, she was nabbed for doping and was banned for two years from athletics.

Coming back to the games where she was banned four years ago, a gold medal return is redemption enough for the local lass, who at 34 years of age, is in the twilight of her career.

Montsho, who ran her season best time of 50.15 seconds in the finals, beat the Jamaican duo of Anastasia Le-Roy and Stephanie McPherson to win Botswana’s second gold at the games.

Le-Roy won a silver medal with a Personal Best (PB) of 50.57 seconds and Stephenie McPherson completed her race in 3rd position with a time of 50.93, while Montsho’s compatriot, Christine Botlogetswe finished fourth in the women’s 400m final with a time of 51.17 seconds.

Now with the individual race now done and dusted, Montsho will now cast her eyes on the finals of the Women’s 4X400m relays where she will be hoping to lead team Botswana women to a podium finish.

Along with the likes of Botlogetswe, Galefele Moroko, Loungo Matlhaku and Goitseone Seleka, Montsho has the unenviable task of trying to win another medal for Botswana to close in on the country’s 8 medal target.


Read this week's paper