Sunday, November 29, 2020

Athletics national team coach opts for a busy schedule ahead of Rio

Botswana Athletics National Team Coach Justice Dipeba says he is not worried of fatigue ahead of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. The coach’s comments follow concerns that the athletes risk burn out ahead of the Rio Olympics given their hectic IAAF Diamond League engagements in the run up to the Olympics.

The Olympics starts on the 5th of August until the 21st of the same month in Brazil’s capital Rio De jenario.

Track runners Isaac Makwala (400m) and Nigel Amos (800m), who have already qualified for Rio 2016, are currently competing in the ongoing diamond league which is also physically demanding just like the Olympics.

Coach Dipeba said he has embraced the busy schedule citing the significance of keeping athletes on their toes and on competition mode ahead of Olympics.

“I don’t think they will be that tired because the competition schedule is only congested between May and June. In July there are only 2 events before Rio, which will give them enough time to rest and work on their weaknesses. It’s always ideal to keep athletes on a competition mode because when you only train without gauging yourself against your counterparts you can end up performing badly,” he explained.

He further said that he is delighted by the duo’s performance in the ongoing Diamond League citing improved tactics and techniques in the track field.

“Isaac Makwala has made a huge improvement especially his finishing techniques but he still needs to do more because he is not yet where I want him to be. Once he is ready he will definitely do good at the Olympics. Amos on the other hand is still recovering from fever and has made only one appearance and I trust he will do better as soon as he recovers because he has a very good personal coach,” he said.

Onkabetse Nkobolo and Lydia Jele are also competing in other international meets where they have been doing exceptionally well with better times.

Concerning the Botswana based athlethes, Dipeba said preparations are ongoing. “There is a lot of physical and tactical training that we are currently working on with the locally based athletes who have already qualified for the Olympics. Most of them are naive and we are preparing them well in time to avoid stage fright which can contribute much on their performance,” added Dipeba.

In another exciting development for Botswana athletics, teenage sprint sensation, Baboloki Thebe, will make his Diamond League bow in individual events during the Birmingham Diamond League meet in Great Britain today (Sunday). Thebe’s inclusion in the starting lineup where he will rub shoulders with the likes of Isaac Makwala as well as Olympic gold medalist Kirani James of Grenada marks a startling growth for the soft spoken sprinter. 

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Sunday Standard November 29 – 5 December

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of November 29 - 5 December, 2020.