Coach acknowledges tough task in Beijing

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The seven-men IAAF World Championships team is ready to leave lasting impressions in China when the competition gets underway in Beijing on Saturday.

Coach, Justice Dipeba, however, acknowledges it would not be a walk in the park.

“World championships are tough. We will have to compete well and (be) smart to make sure that we go through the rounds and make it to the finals,” he told Mmegi Sport from China this week.

Up first on the track would be the country’s medal hopeful, Nijel Amos who will be involved in the 800m heats on Saturday. 

Amos, a leader in the Samsung Diamond League standings and a Commonwealth Games gold medallist, is expected to cruise to the semi finals, which would be held on Sunday.

The 800m final is on Tuesday, with the winner guaranteed handsome cash returns as well as the title of world champion.

World record holder, David Rudisha, although stuttering, still represents formidable opposition.

Africa’s 400m record holder, Isaac Makwala is in action on Sunday in the heats.  If he progresses through to the final, as is expected, Makwala will return to the track on Wednesday for the final. Dipeba does not want to put Makwala under pressure in Beijing.

“So far so good. I think the team is ready to bring good results. Makwala is focused and he is looking ready. But I will not put any pressure on him.  “We want to make it to the finals then we will take it from there.  The same applies to other team members,” he said.

High jumper, Kabelo Kgosiemang is on the field on August 28 in the qualification stages before the final on August 30.

The 4x400m relay team begins their quest for glory on August 29 in the heats with the final slated for August 30.

Besides focusing attention on the local team, athletics fans would be glued to their screens for a potentially intriguing 100m contest between Jamaican sprint star, Usain Bolt and an on form, Justin Gatlin.

The team: Nijel Amos (800m), Isaac Makwala (400m), Onkabetse Nkobolo (4x400m), Sakarea Kamberuka (4x400m), Pako Seribe (4x400m), Leaname Maotoanong (4x400m), Kabelo Kgosiemang (high jump)

Coach: Justice Dipeba, Jean Verster

Manager: Olebogeng Oitebetse

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