Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Junior Athletes set the tracks ablaze at Molepolole meet

Upcoming local athletes took the opportunity of absence of local star athletes to press for inclusion in the national teams ahead of international meets and the Olympics.

With only a short time left before the start of South Africa’s Yellow Pages series and a couple of months left before the 2012 London Summer Olympics, the upcoming track and field stars set the Molepolole Sports Complex track ablaze with exhilarating performances to catch the eye of national selectors.

The athletes, most of whom are development athletes, posted excellent times, showing the potential they have of improvement in the future. Despite the brilliant showing by all athletes, the toast of the day was the unheralded Maun-based sprinter, Yatea Kampepera, who made top finishes in all the sprint races.

The athlete ran all the sprints, in the process winning the 100 m race, coming third in the 200 m and posting another good time in the 400 m. Apart from the individual races, the athlete was also part of the all conquering Maun Athletics Club’s 4 x 100 meters and 4 x 400 meters men’s relays that won both races.

In the 100 meters final, Kampepera posted a time of 10.40 seconds to claim the race with Mooketsi Magaga coming second with a time of 10.53 seconds while Kampepera’s fellow Maun stable mate Loato Kelediyakgotla came third at 10.75 seconds.

The 200 meters race was an all Maun Athletics Club affair as athletes from the club took all the top three finishes in the race.

After losing to Kampepera and Magaga in the 100 meters race, Loago Kelediyakgotla made amends in the 200 meters race as he clocked 21.34 seconds while his stable mates Tshenolo Yaloka and Kampepera clocked 21.81 seconds and 21.86 seconds to come second and third respectively.

In the ladies 100 m and 200 m races, it was an all Jwaneng Athletics Club (JAC) affair as the ladies from the diamond mine dominated.

In the 100 m ladies race, JAC’s trio of Joy Mphatho, Tsaone Sebele and Gosego Mpeo clocked 12.54 seconds, 12.59 seconds and 12.81 seconds, respectively, to make the podium position.

The trio repeated the feat again in the 200 m race as they made the podium in the same order; with Mphatho coming first while Sebele and Mpeo came second and third respectively.

In the ladies 400 m races, University of Botswana (UB) Athletics Club and National team teammates Lydia Jele (nee Mushila) and Oarabile Babolai were dominant as they came first and second while Christine Batlogetswe of Lefika came third.

The men’s 400 meters race was won by Omphemetse Mokgadi of Lefika Athletics Club, with Tiroyaone Mosake of Maun and Onkabetse Nkobolo of Lefika coming third.

The 800 meters men’s race went to junior national team athlete Nigel Amos who beat off a strong challenge from Isaac Seoke to clinch the race, with Otlaadisa Segosebe coming third. With Seoke leading the race from the start, Amos dug deep and pushed hard in the final 100 meters of the race to clinch the race, edging Seoke with less than a second.

Commenting on the races, Botswana Athletics Association (BAA)’s Publicity and Information Secretary Ipolokeng Ramatshaba expressed pleasure at the performances by local athletes, saying they are showing much improvement with every race.

Ramatshaba says considering that the races are not sponsored, it is good to see athletes posting excellent times, more so that most of them are junior athletes making a push for senior national team selections.

The next meet is in Maun Sports Complex this coming weekend.

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