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Nigel relocates to America

Publishing Date : 24 April, 2017

Author : KETUMILE RAMATITI

After enduring a pitiable 2016 and the first quarter of 2017 which saw him omitted from the 4x400m relay team representing Botswana at the ongoing IAAF World Relays in Bahamas, Nigel Amos is expected to jet off to the United States of America anytime from now to kickstart preparations for the 2017 World Championships slated for August in London.


The nomadic runner was previously based in South Africa under the tutelage of Jan Verster, but later came back home to be mentored by Mogomotsi Otsetswe before a short stint in Kenya. According to sources, Amos could have long made the journey to Uncle Sam after penning a new deal with his personal sponsors, Nike, after the Rio Olympics, but the then Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) leadership blocked the move.


It is said the argument by then was that the 800m runner should polish his running talents in one of the African countries renowned for crafting long distance athletes, precisely Ethiopia, however he later went to Kenya to ready for the World Championships. The new BAA committee led by Mooketsi Thari is aiming to clean the mess left by their predecessors and has already started the process – they are adamant that Nigel should go to America. Further they don’t want any flaws that will rub Nike, which is also the technical sponsor of the association, the wrong way. In America the runner will be under the guidance of one of the highly rated coaches, who according to BAA, will ensure that the runner notches his maiden medal at the World Champs.  


At the time of going to press, BAA Sport Development Officer (SDO) Gable Garenamotse, was yet to meet with the runner to discuss the nitty gritty of the deal, “I’m still awaiting him,” he said and added, “We will talk about the trip and obviously understand his challenges and how we can assist especially on the build up to the World Championships.”


The World champ medal has eluded the runner on two occasions; he was injured in 2013 when he was only 19 years old and had expected to continue his fairytale following that historic night in 2012. In 2015, Amos stumbled at the semi-finals, a development that left many commentators reading complacency on the athlete’s part. However, Amos who is occupying position nine in the all time leading times of 800m after clocking 1:41:73 at the 2012 London Olympics hopes to notch the medal at the his lucky hunting ground in August.


But will USA really Amos?


The prospect of Nigel relocating to America has nonetheless divided opinions as some believe it is the right development move while others want him to remain in Botswana. America, renowned for producing exceptional sprinters is seen as a perfect springboard for the athlete in his ambition. “I believe America is okay for the boy, the country is coming up well in 800m because they have for long time dominated the sprints so they want to widen their capacity. So the boy will reap more by going there,” Coach Justice Dipeba said.


However there is another belief that the runner should remain home if he wants to achieve better, “as his best performance was when he trained in Botswana. Ever since moving outside he’s been a shadow of himself,” said an administrator who cannot be named. The worry that engulfs many is that the athlete could be destructed by other things hence he may never recover on the field of play.


The relocation to America is expected to help the athlete compete in all the IAAF Diamond League meets for this year. The last time Amos took part in the league was in 2014 when his superlative performance saw him set records and he also put a genuine challenge against the 800m race king, David Rudisha in Monaco. The first meet of the season will be in Doha, Qatar on the 15th of next month and it will end in Brussels, Belgium on the 1st of September.


GC International meets next weekend


Meanwhile the eagerly awaited Gaborone International Meet is on next weekend. The Meet which is still in the process of being turned into a Diamond League meet has attracted top athletes from various countries and as the preparations suggest, it will be an event not to be missed. All the athletes that are representing this country in Bahamas will take part with an interesting contest between Karabo Sibanda/ Baboloki Thebe and Amantle Montsho/ Lydia Jele expected. Entrance to the event will be P50 and with top athletes continue to honor the meet. The national stadium is likely to see a capacity crowd.

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