Nijel Amos did not alight when the plane carrying the Gold Coast heroes touched down at the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport on Wednesday.
Instead, the 800m runner headed straight back to his United States base after a disappointing end to his Commonwealth Games campaign.
He finished eighth in the finals and later revealed he had suffered a calf injury. Amos was a medal prospect in Gold Coast after his 2014 gold medal achievement. Athletics coach, Mogomotsi Otsetswe told Mmegi Sport on the sidelines of the welcome dinner at the GICC on Wednesday that Amos seemed fit when he led the race until the calf muscle pain hit him. “Calf muscle tears usually occur during acceleration. He could have suffered the injury when he was leading the race,” he said. Otsetswe said Amos is expected to recover in three weeks. He said the athlete has gone back to his base in America to recover. Regarding the performance of the team, Otsetswe said he was impressed with the outcome that saw a medal haul of five; including two golds. “The majority of them reached the semi-finals. Preparations were spot on. It was unfortunate that injuries were rife amongst our athletes even other countries suffered the same fate,” he said. He added that athletes like Christine Botlogetswe did well achieving her personal best (PB).
“We slept around 3am planning for the relay. We studied all the countries that we were in the finals and looked at their athletes depending on their strengths and PBs, their fitness level and the way they performed during the heats. That guided us to come up with a team,” he said. Otsetswe said it is important to plan ahead of competitions as the rewards are now there for everyone to see. He said countries such as
and Swaziland intend to benchmark from Botswana. “We should go back to the lower structures and make sure that the feeder system is functioning. On the women’s side it is worse. We should assist coaches in those structures,” Otsetswe said. He said it is important to start preparing for Tokyo 2020 as soon as possible. He said preparing for competition is tough and requires a lot of resources.
Meanwhile, Chef de Mission, Tebo Segaise said the athletics and management showed commitment. She said everything that was achieved did not come as a surprise. “For the first time we had a long camp from December. The results came from the preparations that we embarked on. I usually run out of words to describe how we are feeling as a team,” Segaise said. She said there is a lesson learnt from the Games especially the
engagement of medical personal. She said it is important to cover every aspect from the medical point. “We were almost there in (terms of) bringing different medical personnel. It is one aspect that we cannot run away from,” she said.
The Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development (MYSC), permanent secretary, Kago Ramokate shared the sentiments, saying they had expected such a performance after putting a bit in the preparations.
“We tried to start early this time and normally we have challenges with funding and we start preparations late. In this case we tried by all means to start on time,” he said. Ramokate said they are looking forward to Youth Olympics and Tokyo 2020. He said there could have been a bit more in terms of medical support.