Amantle Montsho waves Botswana’s flag

Here’s a Sonny Side of Sports salute for Botswana’s Amantle Montsho, who set a national record of 49.56 seconds Monday in winning the gold medal in the women’s 400-meters at the world athletics championships in Daegu, South Korea. It marks the first world title for the 28-year-old Montsho, who is the reigning African and Commonwealth champion at the 400-meter distance. She’s also the first athlete ever from Botswana to win a medal at the world championships.

To make history for her southern African country, Montsho needed to hold off a fierce challenge from American star Allyson Felix, who has won the last three world titles at the 200-meter distance, and who was hoping to pull off a 200-400 double in Daegu. You can check out the race and the thrilling duel between Montsho and Felix in this video:

As Amantle Montsho said in the post-race interview, “I think everybody there (in Botswana) is very happy.” Botswana sent only three athletes to South Korea, and with Montsho bringing home the country’s first ever world championship medal, Daegu 2011 will surely be remembered as a very happy and successful competition by the country’s track fans and officials.