African 400m champion and record-holder Isaac Makwala is confident Africa can win its fifth Continental crown when the IAAF Continental Cup gets underway tomorrow in Marrakech, Morocco.
African pride will be stake as the continents best track and field stars battled the rest of the world on home soil.
[link id="4" tax="category" text="Africa"] last won the competition in 2002, having previously won in 1992, 1994 and 1998. Makwala feels this could be the best time for Africa to win the competition.
“I think it is possible,” he said adding that, “I think it is going to be great. It’s all about the support.”
[link id="479" tax="post_tag" text="Isaac Makwala"] is hoping Moroccan fans will turn up in their numbers to cheer the team.
“The support at the African championship was disappointing," said Makwala. "Even now, I think when they come, they will not support us. They might support other teams. I think we can clinch it."
Makwala also feels the cash prizes are enough motivation for athletes to give off their best in Marrakech.
“It’s a big motivation. You know in sports money is a big motivation. With that money, it is going to be crazy,” the [link id="96" tax="category" text="Botswana"] 400m champion said with a giggle.
After missing out on making the final of the 400m at the 2014 Commonwealth Games by 0.02, Makwala redeemed his image by winning the African Championship, in an African record of 44.23.
“My competition went very well. I did everything. This year has been my year. I was here last month,” he said.
“My expectation is just to win the Continental Cup. I just want to see myself through, end the season in another style.
Unlike the African Championship where he won with relative ease, Makwala is expecting a tougher competition at the IAAF Continental Cup.
“Now it’s going to be tougher. You know that every continent came with their best two. You know the Americans. I think Lashawn Merritt is here. So I think it is going to be tough,” he added.
Four continental teams will be competing for glory in Marrakech including Americas (NACAC and CONSUDATLE), Africa, Asia/Pacific (Asia and Oceania), and Europe.