South Africa: Athletes Seek Glory in Durban

| June 22, 2016

Botswana's most formidable runners, Nijel Amos and Isaac Makwala are expected to lead Team Botswana at the 20th Africa Senior Championships which begin in Durban, South Africa on June 22.

Botswana has assembled a team of 21 men and women, the first time the country has sent such a large number of athletes to the Africa Championships.

A lot is at stake as more athletes such as Boitumelo Masilo, Karabo Mothibi, Goitseone Seleka, Galefele Moroko, Kgalalelo Gabobitswe, Kabelo Kgosiemang and Stephanie Beukes are expected to use the event to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Amos, Makwala, Baboloki Thebe and Karabo Sibanda who have already booked a berth at the Olympics will fight for continental glory.

Makwala, who is the reigining Africa 400m men's champion and South African Wayde Van Niekerk might meet in the 400m race.

Makwala won the previous competition ahead of Van Niekerk with 44:23 seconds, which was the championships' record. Van Niekerk clocked 45:00 seconds.

Since that victory, Makwala has consistently found it hard to outclass Van Niekerk and it remains to be seen if the Tutume born athlete will take Africa by storm again and beat the favourite in his home soil.

Botswana will be represented in the 800m race by Amos and Boitumelo Masilo.

Masilo is yet to qualify for Rio and he will give his best to hit the qualifying standard.

Amos will be out to defend the title he won easily in 2014 when he beat Mohammed Aman of Ethiopia and Algerian Taoufik Makhloufi.

In 2014, Botswana won a total of six medals, comprising four gold medals from high jumper, Kabelo Kgosiemang, Amos, Makwala and the 4 x 400 men's relay team.

Makwala also won a silver medal in the 200m whereas the 4 x 400 women's relay team won a silver medal.

The tally of medals might increase this time around as Botswana has sent a large number of athletes.

National team coach, Justice Dipeba said in interview that preparations went well.

"The team is training well and is ready to go and impress in Durban," Dipeba said.

He further said competition was very high within the team given that it was mostly dominated by 400m runners.

Source: Botswana Daily News

Category: General

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