Botswana athletes are “on the right track” at ASA

• Though they failed to qualify for Tokyo 2020 at ASA series • BAA notes the athletes have been in active for some time.

Botswana athletes are “on the right track” at ASA
CHRISTINE ÁYANDA BOTLOGETSWE during the Gaborone International Meet (GIM2018)at the national Stadium in Gaborone on 29 April 2018. (Pic:MONIRUL BHUIYAN/PRESS PHOTO)

Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) is satisfied with its athletes’ performance at the ongoing series of events organised by Athletics South Africa (ASA), the organisation’s Vice President Administration, Oabona Theetso, has said.

According to Theetso, the athletes are on the right track even though they have failed to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics at the ASA events. “They are performing well mostly, considering that they have been inactive for more than a month,” he said in an interview with The Business Weekly Sports.

One of the athletes who took part at  the ASA events is the reigning Commonwealth Games 400m  champion, Isaac Makwala, who took fifth position in the 200m with a time of 20.59 seconds. The race, which took place on Tuesday at Ruimsig Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa,  was won by the 400m world record holder, Wayde Van Niekerk, who claimed it with a time of 20.10 seconds. Other athletes who took part in SA include Karabo Sibanda, Amantle Montsho (she has already qualified for the Olympics) and Leaname Maotoang.

According to Theetso, BAA is still optimistic that more athletes will qualify for Tokyo 2020. “All they need is constant competition,” he said. “We need to organise more competitions locally and send the athletes to international competitions when we can. They need that rhythm to become sharp.”

He explained that one of their main aims is to send the athletes to the 2021 World Athletics Relays billed for Chorzow, Poland from 1 to 2 May 2021 at which the local men and women 4x400m relay teams would vie to improve their rankings so they can solidify their spots at the Tokyo Olympics. In a previous interview, Theesto said BAA’s target in Tokyo was three medals.

Athletics is one of Botswana’s best performing sporting codes and is the only one to have won the country a medal at the Olympics so far, courtesy of young Amos who left the world awestruck after finishing second behind Kenyan David Rudisha in a blistering performance in the 800m final at the 2012 London Olympics when he recorded a time of 1:41.73.