Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Botswana fails to qualify for athletics World Championships

Botswana’s hopes and dreams of further success at the ongoing International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) World Championships came to a screeching halt this past Friday as athletes failed to qualify for the finals.

The results means the country will come home with only one medal, being silver, garnered by Amantle Montsho in the women’s 400 meters. After Montsho’s medal on Monday, all eyes were firmly on other team Botswana to add to the medal tally but that was not to be as the locals fell by the wayside.

After qualifying for the finals, high jumper Kabelo Kgosiemang’s bid to earn the country a medal disappeared as he failed to clear 2.25 meters during the high jump finals on Thursday. Despite having cleared 2.26 meters during the qualifications on Tuesday, Kgosiemang, whose personal best stands at 2.31 meters, failed to clear what is at best considered easy jump for him.

Kgosiemang’s failure was followed by that of the country’s 4X400 meters men’s relay team, which came last during their semi final heat. The team, made up of Pako Seribe, Obakeng Ngwigwa, Isaac Makwala and Thapelo Ketlogetswe, registered its season best time of 3.05.74 minutes, which is below their personal best of 3.02.24 minutes.

The team’s failure to qualify meant the country was left with only two events, namely the ladies’ 4X400 meters relay and Makwala’s 200 meters, from which to try and find the elusive second medal.

While the odds were always stuck against Makwala due to the quality athletes he was up against, the local athlete performed well though he did not make it out of the heats. Botswana’s final event was the ladies’ 4X400 meters relay, which saw the country’s ladies also fall by the wayside. Despite the presence of Montsho, the team, which was making its debut at the championships, failed to make it past the heats, coming last in their heat. With the games coming to an end today (Sunday), the result means Botswana still manages to bring home a medal, though not gold as was the case during the last championships.

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