Seven athletes left last Sunday destined for the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China. The country waits with bated breath as Nijel Amos attempts to pick gold in his debut appearance while Isaac Makwala will want to apply the icing on his lengthy career. Staff Writers, MQONDISI DUBE and CALISTUS KOLANTSHO compile the profiles of men tasked with leaving lasting impressions in China
Name: Nijel Carlos Amos
D.O.B: 15 March 1994
P.O.B: Marobela, Central
Discipline: 800m, 4x400m
Personal Best: 1:41:73 (World junior record)
Achievements: World Junior Championships 2012 (gold), London 2012 Olympics (silver), Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games (gold), Diamond League winner 2014
Strengths: Amos has the ability to keep up with the leading pack and a good burst of speed in the last 50 metres. His involvement in the 4x400m relay team has sharpened his finishing. He has proved on countless occasions that he has a strong finish, arguably the best in the 800m in the world at the moment.
Full name: Isaac Makwala
D.O.B: 29 September 1986
P.O.B: Tutume, Central
Discipline: 400m, 4x400m
Personal Best: 43:72 (Africa record)
Achievements: Fifth fastest 400m time, Best non-American 400m runner, Africa record holder, 100m, 200m and 400m national record holder
Strengths: Makwala has an unpredictable start and finish which works both ways for him. He varies his run, usually giving him an edge over competitors with a poor finish as in most occasions, he has a quick start.
Full name: Pako Seribe
D.O.B: 07 April 1991
Discipline: 4 x400m
Personal best: 45:00
Achievements: 1 x African Championships (gold), 1 x African Championships (silver)
Strengths: Seribe has a consistent run and his vast experience, which saw him compete against the ‘hurricane’ Usain Bolt in the 200m early this year, will work in the team’s favour. Coach, Justice Dipeba says Seribe has good speed, which if distributed well can improve him as a runner.
Full name: Onkabetse ‘Tolly’ Nkobolo
D.O.B: 22 July 1983
Personal best: 45:36
Achievements: 2015- Salamanca meeting (gold), Huelva meeting (gold), Spanish Kings Cup (gold), Spanish championships (gold), World Relay Championship 4x400m (finalist)
Strengths: He has a good speed and tested endurance. Dipeba says with Nkobolo coming from the 800m race is a big plus as he is able to hold his speed for a long distance, which makes him a good 400m runner.
Full name: Kabelo Kgosiemang
D.O.B: 7 January 1986
P.O.B: Rakhuna village, Borolong
Discipline: High jump
Personal best: 2.34 meters (African Championships 2008 gold medalist)
Achievements: First position with a 2.25 metres jump (African championships 2012, 2014 gold medal with 2. 28 metres jump). Commonwealth Games 2014 (2.21 meters).
Strengths: Kgosiemang is one of the best high jumpers in the continent and he has been consistent over the past eight years. His experience is expected to work for him.
Full name: Leaname Maotoanong
D.O.B: 9 May 1991
P.O.B: Shoshong village, Central
Personal best: 21.25 minutes national championships 200m (2013).
45.63 minutes in 400 metres (Korea 2015).
Achievements: 45.70m (Sasolburg competition 2015). Silver medal at the 2015 Summer Universiade.
Strengths: Maotoanong has proved that he has speed and stamina. He has recorded good times last month, which is a sign that he is at the peak of his form.
Full name: Sakarea Kamberuka
D.O.B: 28 December 1987
P.O.B: Etsha 6 village, Okavango
Personal best: 45.71 in Gwangju (2015)
Achievements: Silver medalist at Southern region championships 2015, gold medal with 4x400m relay at the same competition, position five at the World universities games in Korea (2015) and 4x400m World Relay Championships, Bahamas (finalists).
Strengths: Kamberuka has a good height that comes with long strides. He is regarded as a tough runner. His presence in the 4x400m will bring the much-needed speed.