Two of Botswana’s most promising athletes, Pako Seribe and Sakaria Kamberuka, left the country for Dakar, Senegal, on Wednesday to start their intense training ahead of next year’s Olympics.
The duo, both members of Botswana’s much promising 400 by 400 metres relay team, will stay and train at the Dakar High Performance Training Centre for the seven months running to the 2012 London Olympics.
Speaking in an interview, the Botswana Athletics Association (BAA)’s Public Relations Officer, Ipolokeng Ramatshaba, said the two athletes will be joining the centre to be under the mentorship of star coach Anthony Koffi.
Ramatshaba said that the two athletes will join the Dakar HPTC after Koffi, who also happens to be the mentor of track star Amantle Montsho, had shown interest in taking them under his guidance.
Both Seribe and Kamberuka, who have had an impressive season this year, will be sponsored by the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF). “The international athletic bodies have scouts who are always on the lookout for upcoming talent and once discovered these athletes are given necessary assistance to train. Both Seribe and Kamberuka have been impressive and made it to the All Africa Games while Seribe also made it to the World Championships and that is how they earned their scholarships,” Ramatshaba added.
Ramatshaba says while the scholarship is over a short period extending over to the London 2012 Olympics, there is always a possibility that the scholarship can be extended.
“Whether they get an extension to their stay at the Dakar HPTC beyond the 2012 Olympics is largely dependent on the athletes themselves. All they have to do is to show great dedication and improvement to impress their coach, which we hope if they do they can get scholarships,” he explained.
Ramatshaba says he is optimistic that the duo can impress, adding that they have great potential which, if explored, can take them far. The BAA PRO says the sponsorship of the two athletes comes at the right time as the association is on the lookout for sponsors for their ever growing pool of athletes.
Meanwhile, another emerging woman track star athlete, Leungo Matlhaku, is said to be on the verge of joining the Pretoria High Performance Training Centre. The 16-year-old sprinter, who just this past week was the recipient of another sponsorship by local medical practitioners, is expected to join the famed TUKS High Performance centre next year.