Business & Finance

Botswana: BAA Hails Athletes

When the Rio 2016 Olympic Games curtain closed on Monday, eight Botswana athletes and 4x400 men's relay team had already booked themselves a place at the highest international showpiece.

The eight are Nijel Amos, Boitumelo Masilo of 800 metres, Isaac Makwala, Baboloki Thebe, Karabo Sibanda, Onkabetse Nkobolo, Lydia Jele, Christine Botlogetswe, of 400 metres. Both Makwala and Thebe have also qualified for the 200 metres and swimmer Naomi Ruele.

This is twice the number that made it to the last competitions in 2012. During the London Games Botswana managed to send only four athletes,Amos,Makwala Amantle Montsho and Oteng Oteng of boxing.

However Botswana Athletics Association, secretary general, Legojane Kebaitse said they were happy that more athletes managed to hit the qualifying mark, compared to 2012.

He said they had thought the 4x400 women's relay team will make it after the final ranking, adding that currently the team was on position 18, something which he said had disadvantaged the team to compete at the Olympics.

"Only up to position 16 in the rankings qualifies for the Olympics, but we are two places away, however we are just waiting in anticipation, maybe they will release another final ranking," he said.

Nevertheless, Kebaitse said Botswana athletes did well during the qualification period between May 1 2015 until July 11 adding that as BAA they had observed that their runners were hungrier for success.

He said athletes had since realised that nowadays sport is not just sport but it is a profession that one could use to make a living.

He said with the quality of athletes who had qualified for Rio Olympics, as BAA they were resolute that medal count may increase.

Meanwhile Team Botswana is in Dusseldorf, Germany for training camp, Team psychologist, Dr Tshepang Tshube told BOPA before departure that the training camp would prepare the athletes both mentally and physically.

He said, it was important for them to move away from Botswana and be in an exclusive place so that they could fully focus on the competition, away from home.

Source: Botswana Daily News