BY PATIENCE LEPHOGOLE
Given a chance to shine at the 2019 World University Championships in Napoli, Italy, Botswana’s tertiary assembled team seems to be in disarray as they keep losing in their scheduled activities.
Despite no medals tally to date, Botswana Tertiary Education Student Sports Association (BOTESSA) public relations officer (PRO) Duncan Segabo nonetheless is optimistic it is not too late to bring medals home.
“We have not scooped any medals at the moment, but our athletes are giving the races their all. The competition is high and tough as there are quality athletes from Universities with high quality equipment in the world. We promised three medals, we shall try fulfilling the promise,” said Segabo.
“Most of our athletes go through to the semi finals and finals, where they lose, however they are giving it their all and hopefully we shall make the nation proud,” he added. Segabo further added that he is optimistic that it is a learning curve for the athletes hence using the losses as stepping stones to know what to work on next time, and what else to work on for their next games.
Segabo said “our athletes are reported to be all fit and healthy hence the need for them to work hard more and pursue the mission of scooping medals, if not for they, then for the country.” The current mood of the athletes is said to be of somber attitude. “There is also a learning attitude and willing to make a difference that prevails in them,” said Segabo.
The team sent representatives from 400m men being Lesedi Omondi and Clifton Meshack, 100 m men and women being Thabiso Sekgopi and Loungo Matlhaku. In the 200m Botswana is represented by Xholani Talani and Thabiso Seekgopi, 800m being ran by Gorata Gabankitse, whilst in the long jump there is Thapelo Monaiwa.
On the first day of athletics, Matlhaku qualified for the 100m semi finals, only for her to finish in position four behind Egypt, Brazil and South Africa whilst Meshack who qualified in 400m men and did not qualify for the finals. Nonetheless Meshack did his season’s best time of 46.80 seconds.
Our 800m Gabankitse started the competition well when he scooped first position in the heats qualifying for the semi finals with a time of 1: 49 :98 seconds.