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Makwala, Thebe Shine In IAAF Diamond League

  1. Makwala and Thebe chase behind as  Wayde Van Niekerk runs the show…
  2. SADC athletes get top three finish…

The athletics world was on Friday night at a standstill and treated to a splendid show when the local duo of Isaac Makwala and Baboloki Thebe battled in the 400m diamond league race with incumbent Olympic Champion Wayde Van Niekerk.

In a fully packed Monaco Stadium, the stage was set for SADC athletes as
Isaac “Badman’’ Makwala and the Maun born Baboloki “Hurricane” Thebe and
their rival Wayde Van Niekerk(25 years) dominated the podium in the event.

It was not surprising when the Botswana sprinter (Makwala) who specializes
in the 400m was again on song and produced a sterling performance that gave
the celebrated South African Wayde Van Niekerk a run for his money.

The peerless world and Olympic champion (Van Niekerk) was at it again but
this time he had to dig deep to surge home a meeting record of 43.73,
however this was a close win against the energetic Makwala who on his
trademark “yellow arm band’’ ensured that this time around he (Van Niekerk)
did not have it easy, Makwala came second clocking 43.84.

A tightly contested race between Van Nierkerk and Makwala down the straight
line left Botswana’s youthful Baboloki Thebe chasing bronze ensuring a
consistent run of good performances after a recurring injury he suffered a
few months back.

Van Nierkerk looked certain for glory in lane four but Makwala ensured he
fought back down the outer lane in the home straight. Thebe who normally is
powerful in the first 200m came chasing behind them at a blistering pace.

The local lads pushed Van Nierkerk all the way to the finishing line and
ensured he had something to think about an the upcoming World championships
scheduled for August in London.

With Thebe and Makwala eyeing a podium finish, a lot is at stake and both
of them will be expected to shine at the world champs. Makwala recently set
a new National record, meet record and world lead in Madrid when he won the
200m race.

Makwala also set a personal best in Monaco and the hardworking Makwala who
in the past set and broke all kinds of records will be put to the test.

Sports Journalist Mosimanegape Tshoswane observed that Thebe and Makwala’s
persistent run of form could result in silverware. “They have registered
one of their best times ahead of the IAAF world championship,’’ he said.

Tshosane is confident that silverware could come soon for the local
athletes due to their consistent displays of good results.

“They are in good shape to come home with a medal (of any colour) should
they remain consistent,’’added Tshoswane.

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