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Glasgow 2014 final my hardest race ever – Nijel Amos

Commonwealth and African 800m champion Nijel Amos said the Glasgow 2014 men’s 800m final, where he out-kicked Kenya’s David Rudisha for the gold medal, was the hardest race of his life.

Nijel Amos speaks with the press in Monaco / Photo Credit: Giancarlo-Colombo / IAAF
Nijel Amos speaks with the press in Monaco / Photo Credit: Giancarlo-Colombo / IAAF

The Commonwealth and African 800m champion Nijel Amos said the Glasgow 2014 men’s 800m final, where he out-kicked Kenya’s David Rudisha for the gold medal, was the hardest race of his life.

The 20-year-old from Botswana revealed this whilst speaking to journalists on the eve of the in Monaco on Thursday.

“The Glasgow final was the hardest of my life,” said Amos. “I couldn’t sleep the night before because of all the pressure. Everyone was saying: ‘It’s you against Rudisha’.

“At the Olympics, I was just a young boy and no one expected anything, but in Glasgow I was the big hope. But then I looked in Rudisha’s eyes and thought he is just another athlete and I can beat him.”

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Nijel Amos speaks with the press in Monaco / Photo Credit: Giancarlo-Colombo / IAAF

Nijel Amos speaks with the press in Monaco / Photo Credit: Giancarlo-Colombo / IAAF

One would think that Amos, who clocked a stunning 1:41.73 – a world junior record over the two laps of the track – behind Rudisha’s world record-breaking run to take the silver medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games, would rate that race ahead of the Commonwealth Games.

“When I got to the Olympics it was the same. I knew Rudisha was in really top shape. In the call room before the race he told us he was going to cross [at 400m] in 49.2. He said to us young guys, ‘If you want to die, follow me. If not, then stay back.

“So I knew he was going to go fast and I thought if I can just follow him and stay in the race I could finish well,” he added.

This season, ran the fastest time of the year in Monaco, won the Diamond Race, the African title and the IAAF Continental Cup in Marrakech, Morocco, to add to the Commonwealth crown.

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Yomi is the founder of Africa's number one track and field website - AthleticsAfrica. A multi award-winning editor, journalism innovator, media trainer, sports and digital transformation consultant.

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