- BAA aims to bring 2 medals from America and 8 medals from
Botswana’s athletics team will try its best to continue to make the nation proud at the Oregon 2022 World Athletics Championships and the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, Head Coach Justice Dipeba has told Business Weekly Sports.
The 2022 World Athletics Championships will take centre-stage in the heart and home of track and field in Eugene, Oregon in the United States from 15 to 24 July, a first-time affair for US. The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will be held in venues across Birmingham and the West Midlands from 28 July to 8 August. It will be the third time for England to host the Games after London in 1934 and more recently Manchester in 2002.
“Athletics always delivers and we are confident that we will do our best to bring good results from these two competitions,” said Dipeba in a telephone interview. “We have worked very hard on how to get the athletes ready to compete in these two competitions. All the athletes are ready and have also been working very hard. What is left for them is to step onto the track and deliver. We are looking forward to seeing them do well.”
Will the athletes be able to deliver good results in two major competitions in three weeks? Dipeba’s answer was that most of the team members going to the competitions are seasoned athletes who understand the task ahead. “After the world champs, there is a little bit of space for rest and recovery and so the athletes will not be that tired when they get to the Commonwealth Games,” he said. “They did not compete that much this year, which is a great plus for us as they are not fatigued.”
Two medals at the World Champs
Vice president – Administration at Botswana Athletics Association (BAA), Oabona Theetso, expressed similar confidence in the team. “The fact that these athletes qualified for these competitions means that they have the capability to deliver good results,” Theetso said. “We have been doing well and are confident that we will continue that way, hence we have set a target of two medals at the World Champs.”
Botswana will be represented by nine athletes at Oregon 2022, among them Isaac Makwala and Nigel Amos. Meanwhile, the last and only person to win a medal for Botswana at the World Athletics Championships (Senior) is Amantle Montsho, who has now retired. She won the 400m gold medal at the 2011 Daegu World Athletics Championships before settling for a silver in the 400m at the Moskva edition of the World Athletics Championships in 2013.
Eight medals at the Commonwealth Games
As the custodian for the Commonwealth Games, the Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) has set a target of eight medals in Birmingham. “This is an increase of three on their previous foray at the Gold Coast edition of the Games where the country won five medals,” said BNOC’s Business Development and Strategy Manager, Baboni Kupe, in an earlier interview with Business Weekly Sports. “However, we are cognizant of the impact that lack of adequate preparation may have on this target, hence we are cautiously optimistic.”
Botswana will be represented in various games at the competitions, among them athletics, boxing and weightlifting. The country’s medals from the 2018 edition of the Commonwealth Games were courtesy of Makwala’s men’s 400m gold, the men’s 4x400m relay gold, Amantle Montsho’s women’s 400m gold, Baboloki Thebe’s men’s 400m silver and the women’s 4x400m bronze.