With only six days left before the start of the London Summer Olympics, Team Botswana is sweating over the fitness of two of the country’s five Olympic athletes.
The two, men’s 400 meters runner Pako Seribe and 800 meters teenage running sensation Nijel Amos, are in a race against time to recover from niggling injuries that may hamper their competitiveness at the games. The duo’s injuries come barely two weeks after the country’s other medal hopeful, Oteng Oteng, suffered an injury scare, which is now said to be healed.
While Amos is said to be responding well to treatment, the situation with Seribe is not yet clear. Amos, who has of late emerged as a real medal contender for the Olympics, suffered a minor injury during the semifinals of the IAAF Junior World Championships in Barcelona a week ago.
The young athlete, who seemed to have a muscle pull as he charged towards the finish line, however, managed to hold on to his lead and to ultimately win the semifinal race.
In a rare show of fortitude, the 18-year-old showed up in the final with a bandaged thigh but still managed to win the race against a very competitive lineup that included, among others, Kenya’s Olympic bound youngster, Timothy Kitum.
Speaking in an interview, the Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) Chief Executive Officer, Tuelo Serufho, said reports from the team’s Physiotherapist say the athlete is very likely to recover in time for the Olympics.
Concerning Seribe, who came back into the country last week, the BNOC CEO said the athlete is yet to be given a go ahead to join his teammates in training overseas.
“Seribe is still in the country nursing his injury and will have to undergo some scans to assess how his injury is healing,” Serufho said.
Apart from the niggling injuries of the two athletes, the BNOC CEO says preparations for the games are going as planned, with the trio of Amantle Montsho, Isaac Makwala and Oteng still busy with their preparations.
Both Montsho and Makwala have been competing in races while Oteng’s camp in France is ongoing.
While Montsho managed to get second position in her last competitive race, Makwala continued to show some flashes of good form as he won a race in Cardiff on Wednesday.
Despite her coming second, Montsho will go into the London Olympics in high spirits after her coach, Anthony Koffi was given a go ahead to coach her during the games.
“We can safely confirm that the BNOC has managed to get Mr Koffi an accreditation and he will be a member of our team at the Olympics. He will continue his role as Montsho’s coach during the games,” Serufho said. Meanwhile, Makwala and Amos are expected to have crossed into London from Cardiff yesterday to ready themselves for the games. The two athletes will be joined by Montsho and Oteng just a day before the games begin.