Masalela rising 800m star
12 Sep 2023
Botswana’s multiple time 800 metres national champion, Tshepiso Masalela has some big shoes to fill and is ready to step on the track to fill the breach that Nijel Amos has left.
Masalela, alias Machine, comes to scene just when Batswana were scratching their heads wondering who will succeed Amos in the 800 metres.
Machine has since proven to be an oiled machine ready to dominate the 800m and finishing third with a Personal Best (PB) time of 1:44.03 in his Diamond League debut held in Brussels recently just says a lot about the 24-year-old lad.
In Brussels, Machine ran a calculated race compared to how he executed himself at the just ended World Athletics Championships held in Budapest, Hungary.
Although the Brussels Diamond League was his last race of the season, Machine’s consistency will be something that athletics supporters should look out for.
This a youngster who finished second and clocking a PB of 1.44.23 in the semi-finals to qualify for the final where he finished in position seven with a time of 1:45:57 at the recent World Athletics Championships.
Having competed at the World Championships and the Diamond League, expectations are that come next season, Machine who now knows his track nemeses, will be a force to be reckoned with.
In an interview, Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) vice president, Oabona Theetso said they were also awestruck by Masalela’s performance.
“Remember in his World Athletics Championships debut he made it to the finals and he now finished in the top three in his Diamond League debut.
That alone is a clear sign that if he can remain healthy there is a lot he can offer,” Theetso said.
He said given that Masalela was still young and would be competing for the first time again in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, he was confident that the youngster would also represent Botswana at the Olympics in 2028.
“Personally, I am happy that Masalela continues to improve his PB. So as the association we are happy and pray that he remains injury free, level headed, disciplined on and off the field so that he can keep on competing with world class athletes,” he said.
Theetso admitted that Amos’ tragedy had unsettled them and also started wondering who would fill the gap that he had left in the 800m meet. Ends
Source : BOPA
Author : Anastacia Sibanda
Location : Gaborone
Event : Interview
Date : 12 Sep 2023