Mak races in Zurich

18th August 2017
CONTROVERSIAL FIGURE: Makwala competes in Zurich. Source:The Midweek Sun

Batswana will have to wait a lot longer for Isaac Makwala’s triumphant return to home soil following a heroic 200m-time trial at the recently ended IAAF World Championships. Half the world tuned in to see Makwala qualify for the 200m finals after he was controversially disqualified for the eagerly anticipated 400m final. The 200 and 400m sprinter is expected to be in Zurich, Switzerland where he will compete in the finals of the IAAF Diamond league on 24th August.

The 200m hero will be joined by compatriot Nijel Amos while the rest of Team Botswana arrived home yesterday after failing to secure a single medal from one of the most unpredictable World Championships in recently history. Competing in Zurich has prolonged Makwala’s eagerly anticipated return to Botswana. Despite coming short in securing any medals Makwala won the hearts and sympathy of the international media and people around the world when he ran solo to qualify for the 200m finals.

The local runner went on to become the Internet sensation as track and field enthusiasts mimicked his celebratory push up start after his time trail. However, it is not good news for up and coming runner Baboloki Thebe and points leader 400m at the Diamond league. The celebrated runner sustained a nasty hamstring injury during the highly intense 4x400m final.

In an interview this week, Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) spokesperson Ipolokeng Ramatshaba confirmed that both Makwala and Amos are proceeding to the Diamond League while the rest of the team arrived earlier this week. Ramatshaba said the 2017 edition of the world championships were full of surprises as some of the big names in the sport suffered crushing defeats. He singled out surprise podium finishes from countries like South Africa, Poland and Japan. However Ramatshaba said they could have been singing a different tune if the baton exchanges mishap never occurred in the 400m race. Ramatshaba said preparation for team Botswana went well despite failing to bring home a single medal.

Meanwhile the BAA spokeperson said there was no bad blood between his association and the IAAF following the shocking disqualification of Makwala from the 400m races won by South Africa. “The IAAF are a great organisation and they assisted with expenses incurred by Team Botswana members while competing in London,” he said.

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