Local sprinter Keatlaretse Cater Mabote says he will be gunning for a personal best ahead of the Rio Paralympics Games slated for September 7 -18. The lanky Paralympian will today (Sunday) continue his build up to the Rio 2016 Paralympics when he lines up at this week’s IPC athletics Games in Berlin, Germany to compete in the T 12 class for visually impaired athletes in the 400m category.
Mabote told Sunday Standard sport that he intends to use the Grand Prix meet in Berlin to sharpen up ahead of the Paralympics. ‘’I will be going out there to push harder and improve my times as Paralympics Games are not far from now,” said Mabote. The Kgatleng born athlete said he was targeting a personal best time that will motivate him ahead of the Rio extravaganza.
‘’It is all up to me to make every race count and realise the importance of doing better as an athlete. I could not train well last week but I am confident will do my best for the country. Having qualified just outside the 50 minutes quota, my vision today is to make a time under 50 minutes. I want to condition my body for the Paralympics with such competitions to be at my level best when the games commence and it is key to be consistent,” said emotional Mabote.
Despite making his maiden appearance at the global games, he mentioned that he will strive to make it to the finals of the 400m at the Paralympics Games. ‘’I will do all I can to make the finals at the games as I am focused and determined. Anything can happen at the finals depending how one prepares tactically,” said Mabote.
Mabote, who is the only local Paralympics athlete to have qualified for the Rio Paralympics, will also compete in the 200m after qualifying with a B standard mark in the category. Mabote has been on top form this year after making impressive runs in the past Grand Prix meet that were held in Tunisia early this year where he scooped two bronze medals in both races.
Mabote called for more support from Batswana, noting that it is only local support that can give him courage to perform better at the games. ‘’It is important that locals appreciate my talent as a Paralympics athlete. I have the potential to raise the nation’s flag high and it can only happen when the nation believes and motivates athletes with disability. If one takes to record the past races that I clinched Bronze medal, it shows that with support and better conditions, it is possible that I can be one of the best in the world,” said Mabote.