Botswana and the African continent’s only representative in the high jump event of the Youth Olympic Games has bowed out of the high jump final event after failing to surpass his official personal best jump of 2.06 after the bar was raised to 2.07.
However, Mmilili Dube will compete in Group B of the high jump event. According to Botswana National Olympic Committee CEO, Tuelo Serufho, Dube was among the 15 athletes who were┬ávying for the final 8 slots.
“While he cleared lower heights with relative ease,┬áDube nearly faltered at the 2 meter level as he dropped the bar twice before clearing on the 3rd and final attempt. Interestingly, when the bar was raised to 2.04 meters, Dube cleared with relative ease on the 1st attempt, a jump that not only raised the hopes of his coach, Mogomotsi Otsetswe, but those of all Batswana who thronged the Bishan Stadium to lend him support, especially on the back of information that Dube had managed to clear 2.08 meters during training.” he said. “However, when the bar was raised to 2.07m, requiring Dube to surpass his official personal┬ábest of 2.06m, the young Motswana lad tried his best but for some reason could not emulate his┬ápractice feat, as┬áa sizable number of his vertically advantaged competitors managed to clear that height. In the end, Dube had to settle for position 11 of 15 with his jump of 2.04 and failed to make┬áthe final by just 3 places,” Serufho added.
Serufho, however, pointed out that whilst Dube is now officially out of medal contention; his competition at the Games is not over, as┬áhe will be amongst the athletes that will compete in the group B of the high jump event.┬á
“His Coach, Otsetswe, reaffirmed his belief in┬áDube. He reiterated that Dube can go places if he were to be supported, as he┬áhas abundance of talent and has managed to reach jumps that older high jumpers in Botswana had not reached at the same age,” Serufho noted.
Further, Serufho stated that the competition at the 1st Youth Olympic Games are highly competitive and have brought together athletes representing 204 nations, and therefore performance at these Games should somewhat give an indication of countries’ preparedness for the 2016 Olympic Games to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as the bulk of the athletes that will compete there will come from the group that has currently converged in Singapore.
“The BNOC remains hopeful that one of the athletes still in medal contention will bring the country glory,” Serufho asserted.