Botswana team’s head of mission to the just ended 19th Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India, Mr Tuelo Serufho, has expressed satisfaction at the performance of the entire Botswana team at the games.
Addressing the media during the team’s arrival at Sir Seretse Khama Airport on Saturday, Serufho said considering that Botswana had sent one of the smallest contingents to the games, the team’s performance needs adulation. “We came at position 23 of the 72 teams that participated at the games and 5th of the entire African contingent at the games,” Serufho informed the media.
He says the performance of the team gave the country a lot of mileage as he even got invited to an interview with BBC radio where he spoke to many people across the world.
Quizzed whether the eight-medal target set by the country was realistic, Serufho answered with an emphatic yes. He says the target was set after consultations with codes due to take part at the games, adding that it was not set by the Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC).
“We had to set not only a smart target, but a challenging target. If we had set a small target of maybe one medal, the athletes would have sat back after we got it. With the target we set, athletes strived and gave their best,” said the head of mission.
With only two years before the London 2012 Olympics start, Serufho says they will soon be giving the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture a plan that will take the country there and beyond.
He expressed hope that the achievements of the team at Delhi will inspire and instill belief in athletes that they also can achieve big in the international arena.
On the actual games, Serufho says the games went well despite the doubts of Delhi’s ability to host the games.
“There were minor issues when I got there but they were resolved by the time the team arrived,” he told the media.
Serufho says while there were also doubts about the standard of the games after some high profile athletes, among them Jamaica’s 100 m world record holder, Usain Bolt, and the then reigning commonwealth 400 m champion, Christine Ohuruogo of Britain, pulled out, the standards at the games were very high.
“The number of athletes’ competing at the games surpassed that of the 2006 Melbourne games. Also there were a lot of broken records and that shows the standard was high,” he informed the media.
Botswana team were welcomed at the airport by the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Shaw Kgathi, representatives from the Indian Chancellery in Botswana as well as other high ranking government officials and heads of Sports Associations.