7 June 2017

Botswana: Amos, Jele Seek Glory As They Meet Peers

Gaborone — Athletes Nijel Amos and Lydia Jele will be on track at Rome Diamond League meeting today.

This would be the first Diamond league for 800 metres runner Amos this season and second competitive race after the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

His first race was on home soil in April during the Gaborone International Meet where he finished on position one with a time of 1:47.72.

Amos will be against Kenyan's Kipyegon Bett, Job Kinyor, Alfred Kipketer, Kiplangat Kipkoech, Ferguson Rotich and Motonei Manangoi.

There is also American Donavan Brazier, Polish Adam Kszczot and Marcin Lewandowski, Denmark sprinter Andreas Bube, and Canadian Brandon McBride.

Now it remains to be seen if Amos who has since relocated to USA will send a clear message to his track nemesis at the Stadio Olimpico.

As for Jele, she will be making her debut at the league, and equally she will be facing stiff competition from the likes of Jamaicans, Stephenie McPherson and Novlene Williams-

Mills, USA's Natasha Hastings, Italian Maria Benedicta Chigbolu and Floria Guei from France.

Switzerland will be represented by Léa Sprunger while Poland will bank on Justyna Swięty and from Ukraine there is Olha ZemlYak.

Jele said in an interview that she had prepared well for the meet.

"I will therefore do my best to execute the race according to the coach's instruction. We did our best to prepare for the competition and we will see how it goes," she said.

However, local athletics analyst, Billy Tambula said all eyes would be on Amos given that it would be his first big race this season.

He said also athletics supporters would be interested on his race tactics since he changed the coach, adding his fitness level and the race would be used to gauge his progress ahead of the World Championships.

"Again it will be a field full of top class 800m runner. His usual rivals are Kepketer, Lewandowski, Kszczot and Rotich whom he has met on numerous occasions with the previous World Championships included. But now there is also a big threat from Kenyan Kipyegon Bett, who has defeated Rotich and Kipketer twice already this year," he said

Tambula said the 800 metres event would be full of athletes who were also favourite to stamp their authority at the World Championship in August, adding it would be a very good challenge for Amos as it would give him time to read his opponents.

Talking about Jele, Tambula said she had been showing growth in the past two seasons with this season moving to the group of top ranked athletes in the world.

"There is no place better than the Diamond League meeting to gauge yourself as an athlete as the World champs beckon. I believe she is ready to take on the world. No doubt she will be against the best in McPearson, Mills and Hastings who not only know the stage but have mastered the races.

He said Jele would be also against seasoned athletes who now know how to perfect their races.

Tambula however said Jele had shown that she was able to perform well under different environment or occasions, adding that her only obstacle in this case might be pressure.

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