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Local athletes hold their own against the world’s best

MQONDISI DUBE
Former world champion: Montsho’s time is surprisingly ranked only 27th PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE
In recent years, sport development has been accelerated giving birth to a crop capable of holding its own against some of the world’s finest talent. Progress has, however, not been at breath neck speed, but there are still a handful of athletes who hold some of the world’s best records. Staff Writer, MQONDISI DUBE looks at a select list whose names remain etched on the all-time records list

Nijel Amos (800m- 4th)

A colourful character from Marobela, Amos became Botswana’s first Olympic Games medal winner, when he romped to silver at the 2012 London Olympics. Amos was part of a historic 800m final, which was recognised as the fastest in history.

The fast and furious race saw Kenyan, David Rudisha pip Amos to second place. Amos’ time of 1:41:73 remains the world’s joint third best of all time.

Ironically, Amos is tied with International Associations of Athletics Federations (IAAF) president, Sebastian Coe, who set his mark way back in 1956.

Rudisha sits at the top of the all time rankings, after the 2012 London Olympics final, where he set the world record of 1:40:91.  Amos has also sat at number one for 12 weeks, and at 26, remains one of the world’s leading 800m athletes.

Isaac Makwala (400m-10th)

It will take time for the world to forget the thumping sounds of Isaac Makwala’s solo run at the 2017 World Championships in London. Makwala is a veteran of the track, but announced his arrival on the big stage with the London run after he had been unfairly treated leading to him being sidelined from the 200m semi-finals.

But Makwala’s moment had arrived two years earlier, when the Tutume-native ran a stunning 400m and 200m double at the La Chaux-de-Fonds in Switzerland. In the process, Makwala ran 43.72, which remains the world’s 10th best 400m time.

Baboloki Thebe (400m-20th)

Thebe’s athletics career has been stop-start, but he has already created lasting moments.

His time

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of 44.02 set in Luasanne, Switzerland on July 6, 2017, remains the 20th best time in the 400m race.

Thebe has also been African champion, although injuries have halted his progress. His counterpart, Karabo Sibanda is a distant 41st.

Amantle Montsho (400m- 27th)

The country’s first world champion is Amantle Montsho, who conquered the best at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, South Korea.

It is a bit surprising that despite her heroics, Montsho finds her best time of 49.33, registered in Monaco in 2013, ranked a distant 27th in the world.

She is the only female athlete ranked in the top 100 of the IAAF all time list.

Botsogo Mpedi (cricket-bowler-3rd)

The shock inclusion in the list of athletes with the best records is that of young cricket bowler, Botsogo Mpedi.

At one stage, she held the number one spot, in a game that is mostly dominated by Asian giants,

India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, as well as England, South Africa New Zealand, West Indies and Australia.

But despite emerging from a relatively unknown country in cricket terms, Mpedi’s figures stand out.

Mpedi’s best ever bowling figures came during a match against Lesotho on August 18, 2018 at the Botswana Cricket Association Oval.

She ripped through the Lesotho batting lineup, snaring six wickets for a measly eight runs to lead Botswana to a thumping 124-run win in the T20 match.

The devastating spell lasted 2.3 overs and included a maiden.

The right arm medium bowler from Mochudi, at 17, still has her bright years ahead.



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