Former 800m finalist at the Sydney 2000 Olympics and Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) Vice President, Glody Dube says he is confident that sprinter Baboloki Thebe can dominate the world of athletics if he permanently shifts focus to the 400m race.
Thebe surprised pundits at the private institutions athletics championships last week when he beat former African champion Isaac Makwala and Karabo Sibanda after a powerful sprint at the University of Botswana (UB), clocking 42:23 in the 400m race. His impressive record has inspired the athletics top brass to consider shifting him from the 100m and 200m races, where he is considered a specialist, to the 400m where they believe he has potential to beat the likes of South African IAAF world champion Wayde van Niekerk and American LaShawn Merritt.
“He has proven beyond doubt that he can compete with the best in 400m. He clocked an impressive record and managed to beat the best in the country after a fierce battle,” said Dube.
However, the BAA will wait to see what Thebe and his coach decide about his future.
“At the moment they haven’t communicated their next move. It’s entirely up to them to choose which race they will concentrate on, but I think he should focus on the 400m,” said Dube.
Thebe, a 2014 Naijing Youth Olympics silver medallist has been performing impressively ahead of the Olympics. He set a new national 100m record last year at the Sports View International meet in Gaborone and won gold in the 200m. His sterling performance earned him recognition from the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) as he was awarded Junior Male Sportsperson of the year in 2015. Meanwhile, together with other athletes that have qualified for the Rio Olympics, Thebe is currently in intensive training in South Africa. He is also expected to also qualify for the 200m race, which he openly declared as his favourite.