Wednesday, January 26, 2022

BAA, BNOC in turbulent space

The 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games and the 2022 IAAF World championships are set to spark enmity between Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) and Botswana National Olympics Committee (BNOC). Both events are scheduled to take place in July 2022, with the Eugene, Oregon IAAF World championships gripping track from the 15th to 24th July 2022 while the Birmingham Commonwealth Games are slated for July 28th to August 8th 2022.

With bragging rights at stake in both events, it has emerged that the BAA has set eyes in the World championships with the Commonwealth Games regarded as secondary. With tension building between the two organisations, sources close to the matter indicate that the predicament fueled ahead of the just ended 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games held in Japan is yet to be concealed.

“The BAA and BNOC is set to be plunged further in crisis as the bad blood is boiling. The dust of the edgy matrimony that spiraled ahead of the Tokyo games due to national selection of the 4X400m relay team seems unsettled. Since athletes returned from the Olympics Games a few months ago, there has never been an evaluation of the proceeding with both organisations playing wait and see. With big competitions approaching, BAA is planning to send a weaker team to the Commonwealth Games while the elite are expected to rub shoulders with the best at the World championships,’’ revealed a source.

In an interview with BAA Vice President Technical Oabona Theetso, he said they have started preparations for the World championship which is their primary priority at the moment.

“We don’t know what to say about Commonwealth Games at the moment as they are secondary not within our scope now and don’t directly affiliate. We have started preparing for the World championships as affiliates and directing most needed energy towards preparations. If the BNOC is interested in bringing athletics on board for the Commonwealth Games we will hear from them but they will find us far ahead with preparations,’’ said Theetso

He further said it is disappointing for some to interfere on operations of the BAA technical especially selection of the national team. “BAA has the authority to run domestic athletics so none has no right to meddle on BAA technical issues as witnessed in the past. After so many weeks since our return from the Olympics Games we are still awaiting the BNOC for an evaluation report but seems there is nothing hence we don’t know whether they will send a team to the Commonwealth Games,’’ narrated Theetso.

Efforts to reach BNOC acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) proved futile by press time.

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