Gaborone — The 2011 world champion, Amantle Montsho started her come back to athletics on a high note when she finished on position three in 400 metres event in a Botswana Athletics Association track and field meeting held at Lobatse on Saturday.
It was Montsho's first appearance on track after serving her two-year ban, and during the race it was evident that she has been extensively training to keep shape, given that it is not common for an athlete to come back from suspension and make an impressive run.
Montsho, who was on lane seven, proved that she still remembers all the running techniques, as she blasted from the starting block, negotiated her curves properly and in the back straight she pushed herself well. However, Lydia Jele and Christine Botlogetswe tight marked her and relegated her to position three.
Jele finished on position one recording 52.86, followed by her training partner, Botlogetswe with 53.04, while Montsho clocked 54.01 to finish on position three. Position four went to Goitseone Seleka with 54.34.
In 200 metres, Jele once again proved that for now, she was better than Montsho when she finished first with 23.70, Monstho settled for position two with 24.41, Ontiretse Molapisi finished third with 25.19. On position four was a young and promising Refilwe Murangi, who clocked 25.89.
Montsho said in an interview after the race that she was happy with her performance, adding that her intension during the race was to feel if her body was still in good shape.
"I think I am getting there, I started working on my speed, all along we have been working on my endurance, I am happy now more emphasis will be working on the speed techniques," she said.
Furthermore, she said she was confident that in her next race, she would run much better, adding that the weather also disadvantaged them to record impressive times.
Her coach, Mogomotsi Otsetswe said he was also happy that the athlete finished on position three in 400 metres and two in 200 metres.
He said in his own analysis Montsho has now regained strength and her endurance was good during the race, adding they will now work on her speed during training.
"We still have more races coming such as BAA National Championships, Bahamas relay, and IAAF 2017 World Championships, therefore we have to work very hard", he said.
Currently, he said in 400 metres men only Baboloki Thebe, and Karabo Sibanda, and 800 metre runners Nijel Amos have already qualified for the World Championships. He however said their mission was that the remaining athletes should qualify early so that they can adjust their programmes.
In the 400 metres men category, Boitumelo Masilo won the race with 46.51, followed by Onkabetse Nkobolo with a time of 47.58. On position three was Zachariah Kamberuka, who clocked 48.42, while Leungo Scotch settled for position four with 48.59.
A fierce battle was on 100 metres, which was ultimately won by Karabo Mothibi with 10.51, followed by Xholani Talane with 10.59.Ditiro Sebele finished on position three with 10.63, while Gaone Maotoanong clocked 10.72 to finish on position four.