After a season defining solo run at the London Olympic Stadium last August, Isaac Makwala, will this week, resurface at the Commonwealth Games as the world’s athletics eye descend on the Gold Coast in Australia.
Makwala shot to worldwide prominence when he ran a solo 200m run, after he had been initially barred from taking part in the World Championship race with a suspected, highly infectious norovirus.
Although he did not win a medal in London, finishing fifth in the 200m final, Makwala left the UK with his image enhanced.
He went on to win the Diamond League trophy for the first time in his career, a month later.
Since then, there have been no major competitions in between and this week, Makwala, together with a 28-member strong Botswana team, arrived in Gold Coast for this year’s Commonwealth Games.
The last games in Glasgow ended on a sour note for Botswana as Amantle Montsho tested positive for a banned substance that resulted in a two-year ban.
Montsho is set for her swan song as age (34), is not on her side and she will be 38 at the next Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.
Makwala is also moving towards sunset as he is 32 this year and would want to sign off in style if he doesn’t
His career has sparked late, and he has been in the form of his life, recently winning the South African Grand Prix, as part of preparations for the Commonwealth Games.
The games have been robbed of star attraction following the retirement of Usain Bolt, the injury to Wayde van Nierkek and the absence of the Americans.
This has opened the way for Makwala to dominate both the 400m and 200m, and make a huge statement.
Already, the Australian media has zoomed on to the Tutume born, tipping him to add spark to the games’ image.
While eyes are on Makwala, Nijel Amos might want to quietly seize the moment after a disappointing run at the World Championships last year and the Rio2016 Olympics.
David Rudisha is absent, as he was at the World Championships, and it remains to be seen if Amos can grab the opportunity.
Rising athletes, Karabo Sibanda and Baboloki Thebe get another opportunity to show their potential to the world, although Thebe’s progress has been blighted by injuries.