Did You Know Nijel Amos
When Botswana's 800m ace Nijel Amos isn't running around tracks, he's playing them as a DJ.
1. I used to be a good volleyball player
“I only played volleyball for a year, but I played to a decent standard and my school team reached the semi-finals of the national championships.
“A friend first introduced me to volleyball and I thought I would give it a go because I have good height and spring. My favourite position was in the second line. It was great.
“Maybe volleyball helped my athletics in that it gave me extra power and that maybe helps my finishing kick.
“Unfortunately, in the semi-finals [of the national championships] we came up against a school that were full of big, tall players and we lost. Shortly afterwards I quit volleyball to focus on athletics. I have no regrets because athletics has given me everything.”
2. I’m a part-time DJ
“I love music and I remember I was introduced to DJing through a friend. I recall I experienced a car accident travelling to my first gig. In Botswana there are often cattle on the road and I swerved to miss a cow, but the car crashed and it was a write-off. Fortunately, we were all uninjured and I used my brother’s car to reach the gig on time.
“Over the years I’ve played about eight gigs with the last one for my homecoming in my village. I have played in gigs with more than a thousand people attending.
“I think the art to being a good DJ is to understand the type of music people like to dance to and to give them time to dance! I might do some more gigs in future, but I don’t think I would want to be a professional DJ.”
3. I have a special pre-race routine
“Every time I leave my hotel room ahead of a race, I make a point of kneeling down and screaming out ‘I’m going to be a champion’.
“It started in 2013. I’d been out injured with a hamstring injury but I managed to run well in 1:44.71. I thought, ‘if I can run this well with an injury then the pre-race ritual works for me’ and it has remained ever since. I shout out ‘I’m going to be a champion’ and then say a short prayer.”
RE-READ: Nijel Amos' Words of Wisdom