Saturday, November 28, 2020

We can still beat the best, and soon ÔÇô Makwala says

A stellar performance by Botswana’s young track athletes at the World Relays in Bahamas has left veteran runner Isaac Makwala salivating at the prospect of beating the best at the World Championships.

Speaking in an interview, Makwala said given the performances churned by the not-so-fit Botswana team, the local boys will not be afraid of anyone when they compete at the World Championships.

“Our team is ready. At the World Championships, we will face the same teams that we competed against us at the World Relays. So I think we are on par with the best teams,” Makwala opined.

“If we are beating them at this time of the season when some of our athletes are yet to hit peak fitness, then we stand a very good chance to beat them at the World Champs,” the athlete continued.

 At the said World Relays, the Makwala-led team captured hearts with a vintage performance as they ran an incredible time of 3:02.38, finishing just 0.15th of a second behind United States of America. 

“When we left for the World Relays, I was already nursing a muscle injury. During the finals, Baboloki Thebe also suffered an injury and that affected us in a way. That on its own is a good reason to believe we can beat anyone at the World Champs if we are fit,” a confident Makwala said.

According to the veteran runner, if the local boys are given all the necessary support and reach their peak at the right time, Batswana can expect to see them at their best.

“If you look at our records, most of us hit our peak towards the middle of the year. If you look at past performances, you will realise that I hit my peak around May/June/July and if we can get fit and hit our peak then, we will be OK,” he explained.

Meanwhile, Makwala believes he still has a few years left in him to compete at the highest level. In fact, the athlete sees himself competing at the 2020 Olympics.

For his part, team coach Mogomotsi Otsetswe says he believes the team has what it takes to beat the best in the world.

“I believe we have what it takes to win. However, winning takes more than just getting on the track and competing. There is a lot that needs to be done to prepare a team to compete and I am positive that if Batswana and the powers that be give it the support it needs, then we can do well,” the coach said.

He said as the team starts its preparations for the World Championships, it is very important that they be afforded all the support.

“Athletes need to train well and be availed all the facilities needed for such. They also need to have nutritionists, psychologists and physiotherapists. If all these are afforded, we will be ready for the world,” concluded Otsetswe. 

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