Having recently turned 35, Isaac ‘Badman’ Makwala is in the twilight years of his stellar career.
The 400m Tutume-born runner, however, is confident his ageing legs still have what it takes to thrive on the international circuit, with a medal finish at next year’s Olympics still a distinct possibility.
Certainly, the defending Commonwealth 400m champ looks in excellent shape when Celeb Edition met up with him after an intense training session this week.
Away from the track, Makwala is the ambassador for Body20, an EMS advanced technology gym situated at Sebele Mall.
Q. How have you been keeping fit during the Covid break?
Mostly I have been doing a lot of training at home actually with the resources I have.
You will remember that during the first two months we were not allowed to go anywhere so I did a lot of exercises at home.
When we were eventually allowed to jog outside, I think I was one of the first people to go outside.
Q. How would you say the pandemic has affected your yearly plans?
It has affected a lot of plans and for everyone I assume.
Athletics is my career, it is my bread and butter, it is my life!
It is what I use to put food on the table for me and my family so I have not been able to do that for the past 10 months.
There has been no income for me at that time, so you can imagine the hardships.
Q. So how have you been surviving?
Well, it has been tough, especially that it was unexpected but I have been surviving with the savings I had.
Q. And now you are back to full training, what can we expect from the Badman?
Oh yes, I am back, back on full-time training.
I am preparing for next year’s Olympics and yeah I think everything is going great now.
I am getting back on my feet.
You recently shared a throwback video of Botswana’s 4×400 relay team’s spectacular Gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Throwbacks are what have been keeping us strong, keeping us focused.
Looking back at what we have achieved and how good it made, not only us but the entire nation feel.
So I treat it more as motivation to keep going and remain focused on the dream.
Q. And what is the dream?
To win more Gold medals of course, what else!
Your solo run in London three years ago remains one of the iconic moments in Botswana sport.
Q. I have always wanted to know, what was going through your mind when you first walked into the stadia alone?
I was determined to make a point.
It was a difficult time, a lot of emotions were swirling through me.
But I had to do it, I had to show everyone that I had never been sick.
I had to show everyone that I still had the strength and I eventually did.
Q. Should we expect something similarly memorable from you at next year’s Olympics?
Oh yes! You and the rest of Batswana can rest assured I will be on top form and will do my level best to bring the medals home.
Q. Any chances of hanging up your running boots?
Not yet. Not now.
Q. Five things people don’t know about you?
1. I am shy
2. I used to be a footballer but chose individual sport instead
3. I am a farmer
4. I am a straight talker and call a spade a spade!
5. I am an introvert