Monday, January 17, 2022

Amos misses out as Botswana sends team to World Championships

Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) will send a team of eleven athletes to represent the country at the International Association of Athletic Federations which will be held in Moscow, Russia. The nine-day event will kick off this coming Saturday and will end on the 18th of this month.

Speaking in an interview, BAA Public Relations Officer, Ipolokeng Ramatshaba, said the country will send three athletes to compete in individual events and a further eight who will make the country’s men and ladies’ 400mX400m relay. In the absence of 800 meter star athlete Nijel Amos, who is nursing an injury, Botswana’s hopes in the individual events will rest in the reigning women’s 400 meters world champion Amantle Montsho, 200 metres sprinter Isaac Makwala as well as high jumper Kabelo Kgosiemang.

While the presence of Amos will be sorely missed by the Botswana team who will be eager to continue the good work done by Montsho at the past IAAF World Championships, Ramatshaba said he is optimistic the country will not come back empty handed from Russia.

“At the moment, our athletes have been in fine form and we are hopeful we will do well at the games. Montsho has had a stellar season in this year’s diamond league and we are hopeful she will successfully defend her world title,” Ramatshaba explained. Though Kgosiemang is yet to hit his personal best jump of 2, 34 meters he did back in 2008 at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Ramatshaba said he is hopeful the athlete will be very competitive at the World Championships. “Kgosiemang has been showing glimpses of his old form after having gone through a dip in form recently and we believe he will compete very well. His 2, 29 meter jump which qualified him for this year’s World Championships is proof enough he is getting back to his best,” he said. Meanwhile the country’s ladies’ 400X400 meters relay will also make this year’s championships. The team, which can always call on the experiences of Montsho, will be made of, among others Lydia Jele, Oarabile Babolai, Goitseone Seleka and Christine Botlogetswe.

Apart from Makwala, who is also a member, the men’s 400X400 meters relay will be made up of Thapelo Ketlogetswe, Pako Seribe, Onkabetse Nkobolo and Obakeng Ngwigwa. Going into the World Championships, Ramatshaba said preparations have gone well for local athletes. While the majority of athletes have been training at their bases overseas, Ramatshaba said locally-based athletes have been training well. He said the athletes have had training twice a day as the BAA sought to get them well prepared to compete.

Meanwhile, with the lead up to the Moscow World Championships having been dominated by doping scandals by some of the World’s leading athletes, Ramatshaba said they have sensitized local athletes about the pitfalls of using anything that may compromise their integrity.

“We have informed them to ask their coaches first before they use or consuming anything, be it food or medication. We have given the coaches a list of all banned substances and we are hopeful they can help our athletes should the need arise,” Ramatshaba said.

The Botswana team will leave on Wednesday and their first taste of action will be on the afternoon session of the first day when Montsho competes in the 400 meters heats at 4:00 pm.

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