Given a chance to shine at the All Africa games held at Rabat in Morocco, Botswana’s cycling team could not secure a medal for the country.
Botswana’s cycling team was participating for the second time at the games, having participated in 2015. The team participated in the road, individual time trial and mountain biking events at the games.
According to Botswana Cycling Association (BCA)’s public relations officer (PRO) Kagiso Potongwane, Association said: “The results build a foundation on which future participation in the continental games can be gauged on. This will be used for analysis and mapping of a way forward for future participation”
Botswana had sent a team of three led by team manager Game Mompe, athletes being Abeng Malete, Bakang Ebudilwe and Gontse Molefe. However, it has come to this publication’s attention that BCA had intended to send a team of nine athletes, two females and nine males, as well as three officials being the team manager, coach and a mechanic. “Due to the quota limitations, the Association could only send three athletes and one official,” noted Potongwane.
“Initially, a provisional team of nine athletes had been on camp in South Africa in preparations for the games,” added Potongwane.
In the men individual time trial race, Malete finished position 25 with a time of 54:20:209, with the race being won by Souith Africa with a time of 46:50:341.
“Molefe took part in the Men’s XCO mountain biking race and finished in a good position 12, with a time of 2:06:14:983, 13 minutes behind the winning time by Namibia’s Tristan De Lange, who finished in 1:53:11:330,” Potongwane noted.
He further added that Ebudilwe took part in a 65km, 2 lap road race. He said “She put up an impressive finishing in position 16, finishing in the sprinting bunch with a time of 1:45:27. The race was won by South Africa with a time of 1:45:15. Ebudilwe also participated in the women’s XCO mountain biking race which was a 22.8 km, 2 lap race and she was lapped finishing in position 6 overall.”
Mauritius won the most medals in the XCO mountain biking events with a total of 5 medals, followed by Namibia with 4 and South Africa, Kenya, Morocco and Tunisia each with 1 medal. In cycling road, South Africa dominated with a total of 7 medals, while Eretria, Namibia and Rwanda won 2 medals each, whilst Mauritius and Ethiopia each got 1 medal.
Potongwane highlighted that the games were a learning curve for their athletes. He said: “This is a stepping stone for the athletes, a reflection of what to work on more next competitions. We will go back to our drawing boards and work extra hard such that we achieve all our set goals whilst making the best of our athletes.”