Botswana: Coach Plots Makwala Comeback

Gaborone — All eyes will be on Botswana's tried and tested 400m runner, Isaac 'Badman' Makwala at the All Africa Games to see if he can make a remarkable comeback after he sustained a career threatening injury last year.

Badman, who won gold during the All Africa Games in 2015, is expected to compete at the games' 12th edition billed for Rabat and Casablanca, Morocco from August 19-31.

Though Makwala has been missing in action due to an injury during Shanghai Diamond League meet on May 18, the athlete is one of the competition's favourite.

He will be vying to defend the title he won in 2015 with a time of 44.35 in Brazzaville.

Makwala and California Molefhe are the only local athletes to have won the All Africa Games' 400m races.

Molefhe won the race in 2007.

While Botswana Athletics Association is yet to announce the team that will compete at the games, Makwala, Nijel Amos and Kabelo Kgosiemang have already booked their places by virtue of being the defending champions.

His coach Justice Dipeba, in an interview, said the athlete was making good progress, adding that a fortnight ago, his hamstring test results showed a big improvement.

"Even the physiotherapist and other sport scientists were not expecting a quick recovery and he has been training for the past weeks."

Further, Dipeba said training was going well, given that he was hitting desired times, which was a clear indication that he was now in shape.

He said Makwala would compete at the All Africa Games, adding that competition had been in their plan.

As a result, he said the athlete would not feature in any meet before the games, so as to give him time to fully recover.

He said the athlete had a recurring injury and suspected that they might have rushed him back on track following an injury sustained during the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene in the IAAF Diamond League meeting last year.

"The report we had at the time, was that Makwala was healed and that's why he competed, but I think the intensity of the competition in Shanghai was high in terms of speed. We should have made his comeback through small competitions," he said.

Source: BOPA

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