2015 World Championships, Rio 2016, 2016 AAC
Nijel Amos after winning the 2015 African Games title in Congo Brazzaville

The elimination of Nijel Amos was the first big shock witnessed on day 1 of Athletics at the ongoing Rio Olympics, with the Botswana athlete failing to make it through the preliminary rounds of the men’s 800m.

If there was anyone many hope would challenge for the Olympic title, it is Amos, however the 2012 Olympic Silver medallist didn’t calculate and execute a good race as he finished 7th in heat 5 with a time of 1:50.46.

Taoufik Makhloufi won the race in 1:49.17, Smaili 2nd in 1:49.29 & Benedetti 3rd in 1:49.40. With only the top 3 gaining automatic qualification to the next round, Amos was edged out by virtue of his position and time.

World Record holder David Rudisha didn’t really hit top gear in his own race, but he was still way ahead of other competitors winning heat 3 in 1:45.09, while Ayanleh Souleiman was another athlete who a fast time to win heat 1 in 1:45.48

Another athlete to keep an eye on will be Canada’s Brandon McBride who comfortably took heat 6 in 1:45.99. He will be a medal prospect if he successfully comes through the qualification stages, running as well as he did in first round.

For Amos, it hasn’t been the best of years for him. Despite winning the African title in Durban, he has not run so well in the Diamond League to prepare him for Rio. Maybe he could still have something to cheer, if he is drafted into the Botswana’s 4x400m team who stand a chance for a medal.

Athletics coverage was a discovery, having to move away from regularly writing about Football. Although it was initially daunting, but now being an authority in it makes the past effort worthwhile. From travelling on the same international flight with Nigerian athletes, to knowing you could easily interview: World Record holder Tobi Amusan, then Ese Brume, I have cut my teeth in this beat earning the trust of Athletics sources. Formerly the Content Manager-Sports at Ringier media Nigeria, Chris is a Senior Sports writer, Photographer & Community manager at Making of Champions.


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