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 [link id="96" tax="category" text="Botswana"] revealed this whilst speaking to journalists on the eve of the [link id="300" tax="post_tag" text="2014 World Athletics Gala"] 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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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, [link id="424" tax="post_tag" text="Nijel Amos"] 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.