Makwala, Thebe race in Monaco

Neo Masanako
Wednesday, 26 July 2017
PASSING THE TORCH…Makwala faces Thebe tonight PASSING THE TORCH…Makwala faces Thebe tonight

The world of athletics is expected to tune in tonight as sensational local 400m runners Isaac Makwala and Baboloki Thebe take to the track against some of the   best athletes in the world tonight. The IAAF encounter is expected to air live tonight at 2025hrs. 

Both Makwala and Thebe   have shown tremendous form ahead of the IAAF world championships scheduled for London next month. However, the duo will once again square off against the speed and celebrity of 400m-world champion Wayde Van Niekerk of South Africa in the glitzy principality of Monaco.The 400m race comes as a repeat of the previous July 6th Diamond league encounter held in Lausanne where Wayde dominated the race clocking 43.62.

Thebe came second and clocked 44.02 while Makwala came third with 44.08.Even though Thebe and Makwala have for the past few weeks been shining at the ongoing Diamond league, Van Neikerk remains the man to beat in 400m.Nevertheless, fierce battle is expected to erupt tonight as most athletes will be preparing for the upcoming World Championships billed for the 2nd of August in London.

The unpredictable and fast paced Thebe has age on his side, at the age of 20, will be a future threat to 25-year-old Van Nerikek.  On the other hand, Makwala also made his critics eat humble pie when he set a new National Record (NR), Meet Record (MR) and World Leader (WL) in his 200m race last week.

However tonight will not be about who comes first but rather gearing up to the major event in London. “I am happy with how the athletes are performing; I believe they are in good shape and form to make us proud in London in a few weeks, said Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) Spokesperson Ipolokeng Ramatshaba in an interview with BG Sport.

Ramatshaba said athletes should have enough rest ahead of the championships; the athletes should try to get sufficient rest in the last remaining days in order to prevent unforeseen circumstances such as injuries and muscle fatigue. “Maybe two or less races for now then they call it a day, I believe they are in contact with their managers and are receiving all precautionary advice. The BAA spokesperson raised concerns ahead of the world championships. “They are doing everything to prevent the 2014 catastrophe that befall local heroine Amantle Montsho when she   was implicated   in doping saga.

Currently athletes are competing at the Diamond league without any proper supervision of BAA officials, including coaches. Ramatshaba said it is impossible for them to send both coaches and team managers to the tournament.“Sometimes it is not about the money but the period of the event and they travel a lot, however we are always having talks with our athletes and even-though we are excited about their current performances we still hope they do not fall into the doping trap,” he said.Ramatshaba said   they are confident   in the team which consists of professionals who can easily shy away from temptations but argued that in most instances athletes dope unwillingly and unaware. The world championships will end on the 18th of August. Meanwhile other teams are said to be on camp in England. 

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