Isaac Makwala’s personal coach Justice Dipeba says they have thoroughly planned for the athlete’s season to ensure that he does not tire, half way through his season.
Makwala made history by becoming the first athlete in Botswana to attain two gold medals in a sole major international competition. He won gold in the men’s 400m with 44.45s and was instrumental in ensuring that the men’s 4x400m relay team wins a Commonwealth Games gold for the first with a time of 3:01.78.
It is however going to be a busy season for ‘Badman’ as Makwala is affectionately known, as he is yet to compete in the Diamond League races, African Athletics Senior Championships, Continental Cup and other IAAF World Challenges.
Asked whether Makwala won’t get burned out during the season, considering that he usually never runs under 45 seconds before the end of April, Dipeba had this to say; “Yes we are aware that he might get burnt out as this season is upside down and is filled with many international competitions,” he said. “But we are trying to meet with the requirements of this season and that’s why we have thoroughly planned for his competitions. He is going to run a lot 200m races this season and a couple of 400m races as well; the 200m will be used as a form of recovery and to enhance his speed, we will not run 400m in every competition as usual.”
He said they have also changed their training program in order to allow the Tutume born lad, who currently has the world overawed with his athletic prowess, to keep the proverbial wheels on this season as he competes invariably. “You would realize that we fastened it together earlier this season so he copes with the early competitions and that is why he is running fast,” Dipeba stated. “That is however not something ideal so we will have to drop the tone of our training program between major competitions in order for him to stay relevant because I mean it’s difficult for an athlete to maintain his peak for long.” Dipeba went on to highlight that rest is going to be vital for Makwala as age is catching up with him.
On a different note Dipeba stated that he is delighted with the 400m national record holder’s performance at Gold Coast, saying Makwala’s positive approach was key in him winning a gold medal. “His aim was to be crowned champion and I always told people that he is going to win gold. This time around he didn’t doubt himself, he was ready and knew what he is capable of doing I mean you could tell from his heat where he ran 45.03,” Dipeba noted. “I think his achievement is going to boost his confidence going forward because he didn’t have a major international competition medal in his cabinet, it will surely get him ready for 2020 Olympics.”
Further, he said Makwala never feared the 400m world record holder Wayde Van Niekerk as many think, “he always takes him head on, Makwala is fearless, and he always approaches races with a winning mentality.” Dipeba said he is still trying to convince Makwala to take part in the Gaborone International Meet which is going to be held at the National Stadium in Gaborone this Sunday.