The Botswana Athletics Association spokesperson, Ipolokeng Ramatshaba, is optimistic that more local athletes will make it to the Olympic Games to be held in a few months in London.
Ramatshaba told Telegraph Sports that several athletes are continuing to show drastic improvements in several major international competitions. “Definitely, I am hopeful that several of our athletes will make it to the Olympic Games. Our 400 by 4 relay team and high jumper, Kabelo Kgosiemang, stands a better chance of making it, and if they can continue working hard, they will definitely make it. Even short distance runner Yatea Kambepera stands a good chance of making it in the 200 m,” he said. Ramatshaba’s optimism comes at a time when Botswana’s relay team is making international headlines after obtaining second position at the Diamond League meet last week in Rome, Italy, last week.
The Botswana team beat, among others, South Africa, the same team that beat them a few weeks ago at home.
In South Africa, the relay team clocked 3.07 seconds and in Italy improved it to 3.05sec. According to Ramatshaba the team should clock 3.01seconds to automatically qualify.
“If they can clock 3.01 seconds they will be the most feared team at the Olympics because that is a very powerful time. Even if they cannot clock 3.01 seconds they can still make it to the Olympics provided they maintain 3.05 seconds. In that way they will qualify on average,” he said.
At the All Africa Games earlier this year, the relay team won a silver in Mozambique and Ramatshaba believes if they make it to the Olympics they can even make some surprises, he said.
Botswana’s relay team comprises of, among others, Isaac Makwala, Pako Seribe, Omphemetse Mokgadi, Obakeng Ngwigwa and Thapelo Ketogetswe. In the past, the team made it to both the 2004 and 2008 Olympics. In 2004 they made it to the finals only to obtain position seven. Other athletes who have already made it to the Olympics are Amantle Montsho and Nigel Amos.