Competitions! Competitions! Competitions! Those were the words of various coaches as they watched athletes strive to qualify for international competitions over the weekend.
Following some encouraging performances for athletes, coaches said had the athletes had one or two races ahead of the Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) national championships, many would have qualified for the various competitions they were targeting.
The athletes are looking to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, African Championships and also the World Junior Championships.
Out of all the participants, Isaac Makwala was the only athlete who managed to qualify for the Olympics sticking 44.65 in the 400m and 20.15 in 200m.
Among those impressed by the general showing of the athletes was none other than Botswana athletics senior national team Coach Justice Dipeba.
The coach noted that the athletes displayed outstanding performances despite not having any training and competitions.
Even more impressive for the coach were the performances of the men seeking to be part of the 4X400m men’s relay team.
With many of them running good times in the 45seconds range, Dipeba said they will have a variety of athletes to select from for the men’s 4X400m relay.
“I am very excited because the relay team has very good times and as time goes on, we wish the times will get better. I am happy that we will have a great number of choices on the relays looking at the performance of our athletes,” he said.
Nonetheless, he highlighted that it would do them great to have few more competitions to push their times and also just maybe help other athletes to qualify.
“Our athletes can really do better because this is the time we could be competing for the peak. I wish we could have more competitions around this time really, because it will keep the momentum going and increase their drive,” he said.
Explaining that beginning of the year he was not worried that the was no training but around this time more athletes have their peak now this is why he is advocating for at least one or two competitions.
for his part, sports administrator Patrick Moesi also advocated for more competitions due to the flashes of brilliance that surfaced during the past national championships.
“It is really not easy to just get into competitions without proper training and they truly need them,” he said.
Adding that they could have qualified more athletes but due to lack of competitions dropped the number of qualifying.
“For the likes of Makwala and his team mates that went to Poland, they had the opportunity to train in South Africa and for the ones who did not have the opportunity, they lacked behind with performance,” Moesi said.
Moesi said as we are looking to take part in the Olympics, Africa Championships and the World Junior Championships, training is good but it is not good enough to sharpen them.