Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Question mark over Phikwe Marathon

The town of Selibe Phikwe appears to be destined for more miseries after the closure of the BCL mine recently as the Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) has not included the Phikwe Marathon in their calendar of events due to the irregularities that happened during and after the event. 

BAA races coordinator for the North, Moses Raputshe, said his association has up to now not received the results and report of the 2016 marathon and have not been able to submit them to the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF). 

“The results and reports from the Phikwe Marathon are yet to arrive at our office. Without those nothing can be submitted to the IAAF by BAA,” explained Raputshe.

He said until they are given what is required the marathon will remain an event that was done for fun. 

“The results and report were supposed to come after a week but up to day there is nothing from the organisers of the event. Going forward we will not include the marathon in the BAA calendar of events. The Phikwe Marathon will not be recognised and the office will take it as a fun run like other races that are done for leisure,” Raputshe said.

Raputshe said the failure by marathon organisers to submit the results will have a negative impact on the athletes. “It is bad for all athletes who participated in the marathon because they entered the race with the hope of being recognised by athletics bodies,” Raputshe said. 

He said if the marathon is recognised by BAA it can be used as a qualifying race for Olympics, world qualifiers or any other event. Some of the identified irregularities are that there were not enough water points for the runners and marshals were also not enough to guide the runners and some ended up being lost on the way.

Raputshe also observed that the poor organisation can deter sponsors. “Orange as the sponsor might pull back because they might have sponsored the event with the knowledge that it would help athletes qualify for bigger events.

He said though they will have the Francistown Marathon in their calendar as a national event. 

According to information gathered by this publication, Orange has been meeting with the organisers to prepare for the next year’s event. 

Contacted for comment Local Organising (LOC) chairperson for the Phikwe Marathon Amogelang Mojuta said: “The marathon is sanctioned by BAA and we have a good working relationship. They can contact us for whatever they need and we will give them what they want.” He said BAA officials were there during the race and they have never shown any signs of dissatisfaction. 

When asked about the results and the report he said “everything is available, the results and the report. If they want those we will give them. We engaged a professional company to time the athletes and the results are available,” Mojuta said. 

Mojuta dismissed Raputshe saying he was not the relevant person to talk to because the BAA has delegated Glody Dube to help them in the running of the event. 

He said they had recently met with Orange to evaluate the marathon and the sponsors were happy. 

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper