Justin Lagat sent this piece to RunBlogRun yesterday. He is quite enthusiastic about the new meeting in Botswana, which will be held on 29 April 2023! Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Ferdinand Omanyala, along with the stars of Athletics in Botswana, will have the stadium in Gaborone rocking!
Sometimes, we forget just how much of a total rock star we have in Shelly-Ann Fraser-Price! SAFP is one the toughest competitors in all of athletics. She does not give up or take second easily. Look at her race; she is solid from the start and does not have a weak section of her race. Watch SAFP from 60 meters, and you will see the Jamaican pocket rocket become the Jamaican Locomotive! Yes, physics says, all sprinters slow down, but SAFP slows down less than any of her computers, with the exception of Elaine Thompson on a good day.
Ferdinand Omanyala? This guy is the real thing! Your editor believes that Mr. Omanyala can win the big ones. Watch how he builds his seasons in 2023 and 2024. He needs to get used to running 9.80s and 9.70s. Budapest and Tokyo will be fascinating for many reasons, and these two sprinters should be playing big roles!
Now, enjoy Justin Lagat’s fine teaser on the Botswana Golden Grand Prix!
They say that the first impression is the lasting impression. The inaugural World Continental Tour meeting in Gaborone, Botswana, set for 29th April, promises to be big, even before the complete list of the elite athletes invited to compete is announced.
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and the media, May 2022, photo by KIP KEINO CLASSIC
Shelly-Anne Fraser-Price, who had a great 2022, running 10.67 four times – starting at the Kip Keino Classic event in Kenya- and winning the world championships title, will return to Africa again next month to begin her outdoor season at the Botswana Golden Grand Prix in Gaborone. This will be the second World Athletics Continental Tour gold label event in Africa after the Kip Keino Classic in Kenya.
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is the five time world champion at the 100 meters. photo by Weltklasse Zurich DL.
How “Mommy Rocket” repeated the exact digits to a hundredth of a second last year was one fascinating phenomenon to watch and study as she raced in the different meetings. How she takes off the blocks facing the ground and focuses on pushing her feet off the ground, then midway into the race, begins to turn upright as she shifts her eyes to the finish line ahead of her is amazing. It is as though she knows exactly what to do in every single step she takes in her race. Strangely, she ran the exact time she opened her season with to win the World Championships title in Oregon, besides registering that exact time in two other races. I have tried several times to stop my stopwatch at the exact 100th of a second without success, but she does that while running!
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is a five-time W 100m champion! World Athletics Championships
Eugene, Oregon, USA
July15-26 2022, photo by Kevin Morris
Ferdinand Omanyala takes 60m win, photo by Meeting Hauts-de-France Pas-de-Calais
It will be interesting to see what digits Fraser-Price will play around with this year.
Another big star who has also confirmed his participation at the second leg of the fourteen World Athletics Continental Tour Gold series is Kenya’s Ferdinand Omanyala.
Ferdinand Omanyala takes CG 100 meters, photo courtesy of Commonwealth Games 2022
Omanyala, who has already opened the season with a fantastic time of 9.81, which was not ratified due to a faulty wind gauge, is the reigning African Champion and the fastest 100m sprinter on the continent.
Botswana as a country has great sprinters, from Letsile Tebogo, who just ran the WU20 100m meter world record of 9.91 last year to win the world title in Cali, to Christine Mboma, the 200m Olympic silver medalist, and Isaac Makwala, the 2015 400m African Champion and the 2021 4x400m relay Olympic bronze medalist, among others.
Letsile Tebogo, 100m champion, WA U20, photo by Marta Gorczynska for World Athletics
The local stars will ensure that the local fans will have the opportunity to cheer their own stars as they watch the prominent global champions. Tebogo will be the local rising star to watch out for.