- Team Botswana to be headlined by U20 100m world record holder Tebogo
Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) is targeting four medals at the upcoming 2022 World Athletics U20 Championships, the organisation’s vice president responsible for administration, Oabona Theetso, has said.
This year’s World Athletics U20 Championships, which are known as Cali 22, will bring together the world’s best U20 athletes to Santiago de Cali, Colombia from 1-6 August. Cali is a Colombian city in the Valle del Cauca department, southwest of the capital Bogotá and is known for salsa dancing.
“Our baseline for this year’s championships is four medals,” Theetso said in a telephone interview. “We won the same number of medals at the previous edition, which was held in Kenya. So we want to do the same or even win more medals.” Theetso added that team Botswana is ready and prepared for the championships. “We have selected a team of 15 athletes and six officials,” he said. “The team reported for camp on the 6th of this month and we are happy to note that there are no injuries. Preparations are also going well. The team will depart on the 24th of July for a training camp in Cali. Their early departure is for acclimatisation.”
Among the athletes who will represent Botswana in Cali is the defending champion of the U20 World Athletics 100m race, Letsile Tebogo. This is the athlete who recently broke the men’s 100m U20 World Record after clocking 9.94s in the 100m heats at the World Athletics (Senior) Championships in Eugene, Oregon, breaking a mark that had stood since 2014. Tebogo is thus the athlete to beat in Cali. Meanwhile, Botswana’s four medals at the last edition of the competition came in courtesy of Tebogo’s 100m gold and 200m silver. These were Botswana’s first-ever global championship medals in the races. Other medals came in through Anthony Pesela’s 400m gold and men’s 4x400m gold.
The World Athletics U20 Championships is a biennial world meet and is organised by the World Athletics for athletes in the U-20 age category (19 years old or younger on 31 December in the year of the competition). The competition was launched as the IAAF World Junior Championships in Athletics in 1986 and renamed to IAAF World U20 Championships in November 2015. The current name was adopted with the name change of the sports governing body in 2019.