“First of all I thank God for the talent He gave me and I’m enjoying being based here in SA and I’m feeling at home around the people I’m training with. It’s a strong family of athletes who all have a good successful vision… and to be coached by a coach (Jean Verster) who is…
“First of all I thank God for the talent He gave me and I’m enjoying being based here in SA and I’m feeling at home around the people I’m training with. It’s a strong family of athletes who all have a good successful vision… and to be coached by a coach (Jean Verster) who is more than a coach, it’s a motivation… he is a father to us.”
Words from 2012 Olympic 800m silver medallist, world junior record holder at 1:41.73 and 3rd fastest man ever over the distance Nijel Amos.
We take a look at what is going on in Nijel’s head and how he feels about RSA! Asking Amos which SA athletes he trains with at North West University under Jean Verster can become world class athletes he responded with:
“First of all is my training mate Jerry Motsau… he is a hard working guy who is determined on his goals. I’m sharing a flat with him so I can see his moves that this person really has what it takes to shine into the world class level. Rantso Mokopane is looking good too, he just needs to be more focused… Elroy Gelant has already made it, he is there in the world top list now same as Andre Oivier, he is there! When you mention 800m top guys u can’t rule him out.”
What are your plans for this year?
“As you know I was out last year because of an injury. This year I’m looking forward to have a great comeback and I have a good chance of doing that on Diamond leagues and Commonwealth games as this year there is no major champs… and to be honest, this year I have trained more than all the years of my career so far. So I’m looking forward to running a good time… closing the season with 1:42 up or low I will be happy!”
How do you feel about training here in SA?
“Here in SA I’m doing a lot of endurance work which with my previous coach I was not doing….he believed in speed and here my coach believes in endurance so I’m becoming more fit. With my previous coach the longest distance I was going on training in track was 600m but here I’m going up to 1000m which at first I didn’t like but now I like it so much. I enjoy doing it because it makes me more light and I run fast times more easily… like I did on my first race of the year, 400m I ran 45.77 with only endurance work without speed.”
Amos has tough competition lying ahead with the young Ethiopian Mohammed Aman, but with the new South African approach let’s hope he can go and show all the world as well as South Africans that our systems do work, you must just believe in your coach and what they are doing! You can have the best coach but if you don’t believe in what he/she is doing then it will be difficult for you to succeed!
EC Media Manager – Ariaan Aldridge