With less than 40 days remaining until the Tokyo Olympics qualification period elapses, Botswana’s 400m sensation Baboloki Thebe says he is still confident that he will qualify for the Games, this publication can reveal.
To make the cut for the Olympics, Thebe will have to attain a qualification standard of 44.90 seconds in the 400m and or 20.24 seconds in the 200m race. However, as things stand, time is not in the Ramonaka-born athlete’s side as the closing date qualification is fast approaching.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has set 29 June 2021 as the deadline for the qualification period of the Tokyo Olympics, which was been rescheduled from last year to July this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I still have hopes of qualifying for the Olympics,” Thebe told Business Weekly Sports from his training base in Abidjan, the Ivorian capital on the southern Atlantic coast of Ivory Coast. “I think there is still time. One thing that is making me confident is that I have several races in Europe next month (June). Competition is tight and there is something that will push me to run to my best.”
Should he qualify, it would be second time in a row the 24-year old athlete who made his maiden appearance at the Olympic Games at the age of 19 during 2016 edition that was held in Rio, Brazil. This is the athlete who relocated to Abidjan earlier last month to further his training under the tutelage Anthony Koffi.
He told this publication (last month) that he would also like to defend his African 400m title for the third time in a row during the African Senior Championships that will be held in Lagos, Nigeria from 23 to 27 June.
Meanwhile, Thebe holds a personal best of 44.02 seconds in 400m, a time that makes him is Botswana’s second fastest athlete ever for the distance behind Isaac Makwala’s 43.72 seconds. He has several honours to his name, among them two African Championships titles and a Commonwealth Games 400 silver medal that he won in 2018. He is also an influential member of the men’s 4x400m who over the previous years has helped the team win the Commonwealth Games and African Championships titles.