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NATION’S dreams shattered

· Amos fails to qualify for 800 semi final

· Coaches should be allowed to travel with their athletes

 Botswana's Rio Olympics medal hopeful Nijel 'Zorro' Amos failed to pass through to the next round of 800m as he finished in the 7th position with a time of 1.50.46s in the qualifying rounds.

The Marobela born athlete was one of Botswana's medal hopes as he is the first Motswana to win a medal at the Olympics. Amos won an 800m silver medal at the 2012 London Olympics at the age of 18.

Amos managed to win a gold medal with a time of 1:45.11s at the African Senior Championships which were held at Durban South Africa last month and entered the Olympics with huge expectations.

In the heat (race) he was tied up with the London Olympics 1500m Champion Taoufik Makhloufi. He begun the race with ease as he and his opponents crossed the first lap with a slow time of 56s.

It was on the second lap where things begun to unravel as there was no athlete who wanted to remain behind with the last straight (100m) determining who would cruise through to the next round. The heat 5 race was won by Makhloufi of Algeria with a time of 1:49.17s followed by Mustafa Smaili of Morocco.

Another 800m representative Boitumelo 'Sama' Masilo finished in the 6th position of heat 2 with a time of 1:48.46 with his heat was won by Adam Kszczot of Poland in a time of 1:45.83.

In an exclusive interview with The Tswana Times the personal coach of Boitumelo Masilo, Oabona Theetso stated that both Masilo and Amos did not plan well for their races.

"You cannot run slow and expect to pick at the last 200m. Naturally Sama and Zorro have speed but they ran poorly by being slow on the first lap that is why they failed to pick at the last 200m," said Theetso.

The Jwaneng Athletics Club coach did not hesitate to show his dissatisfaction with the Botswana National Olympics Committee for not allowing athletes to travel with their personal coaches.

"They took Masilo away from me before he was ready and they also changed his plan that is why he is struggling this much, he even struggled to qualify," said Theetso.

 

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