• Curtis Anderson

OTC Elite’s Amos sets 800m meet record in Monaco

EUGENE, Ore. – Oregon Track Club Elite’s Nijel Amos is on a serious roll this season.

The 25-year-old Botswanan sped to a meet record of 1 minute, 41.89 seconds to win the 800 meters in Monaco on July 12, his fourth victory in five global races over that distance this summer.

His eye-popping performance also stands as the fastest time in the world since the 800m final at the 2012 London Olympics, where Kenya’s David Rudisha set the current world record of 1:40.91, and Amos took silver in a personal best of 1:41.73.

Besides cementing his status as a World Championship gold medal contender in Doha this fall, Amos joined an exclusive club of men who have run under 1:42 on more than one occasion – Rudisha and Wilson Kipketer are the other two.

“I did an impossible session on Tuesday and after that I knew I could run 1:41,” Amos told Mike Rowbottom of the IAAF. “The world record is not in my mind but if I’m patient it will come.”

In Monaco, Amos was aided by OTC Elite teammate Harun Abda, who set a blistering pace of 48.70 at the halfway mark. Amos stayed strong through 600m, and when no challengers presented themselves, he powered home alone on the final stretch.

“We know that running fast times is not the same as winning championships, and that still has to be our main focus,” OTC Elite coach Mark Rowland said. “There is much we wish to do in our preparation phase, and (this) clearly has me thinking of what I need to do now.”

Amos, who joined OTC Elite in 2016, is scheduled to be back in action on July 20 at the Diamond League meeting in London.

Elsewhere, several OTC Elite athletes participated in the 2019 Sunset Tour at Azusa Pacific University on July 9.

Ben Blankenship led the way with a convincing victory in the 1,500m with a time of 3:36.22, and Hassan Mead was the 5,000m runner-up at 13:27.71.

In the men’s 800m, Neil Gourley placed 6th with a personal best of 1:46.12 and Drew Piazza was 8th in 1:46.68. Vincent Ciattei took fourth in his 1,500m heat at 3:40.76. Tom Farrell finished at 13:57.72 in the 5,000m.

On the women’s side, Hanna Green was 11th in the 1,500m (4:11.77) and Sabrina Southerland placed 8th in her 800m heat.​