Gaborone — While former 400m World Champion, Amantle Montsho is contemplating to retire from athletics for good, his coach, Justice Dipeba thinks otherwise.
Montsho, who has represented the country in different international stages, had actually quit, but Dipeba told her it was too early to retire.
As a show of confidence, Dipeba roped her in the final team, which travelled to the Bahamas recently, where she clocked 57.21, though she did not compete in any race this season.
Montsho admitted in an interview that she did not do well in the Bahamas given that she started training late.
"To be honest, my intention was to quit for good but Dipeba approached me to help the relay team, which competed at the Bahamas.
So I started training in mid-April," she said.
She highlighted that though the Bahamas event was her first competition this season, she was happy with her performance.
Her coach, Dipeba said he was confident that Montsho still had a lot ot offer, if her performance at the Commonwealth Games, which were held last year was anything to go by.
Montsho, he said could still be a very valuable member of the team and could contribute a lot to the women relay team.
"She gives so much confidence when she is around.
With all that, I still believe Amantle can offer us something at least until next year.
We just need to look after her and make sure that we give her proper training," he said.
Track and field analyst, Aobakwe Showa said Montsho's time in the Bahamas was low.
But that, he said did not come as a surprise as she had not competed for over a year now.
He said he had anticipated an opener of around 55s as for her to be in better shape for the upcoming major competitions.
He however said it would be a mistake to judge her based only on one race adding that she would need two or three races to make a good judgment of the shape she was in now.
"The question now is, will she ever get those races with only few weeks to go before the deadline of both the All Africa Games or Doha world championships qualifiers?"
One factor, which might hamper her performance, he said was her age and peak times adding that achieving a high level of performance requires high levels of sustainability and as one gets older, it becomes difficult to stay in shape like during peak years.
"Some athletes reach their peaks early in their competitive phases and others very late.
For example, few people did not give her much chance at the Commonwealth Games, but she made a remarkable comeback and retained a good time to win the title," he said.
Source : BOPA