One of Botswana’s most promising female athletes, Kgalalelo Sefu, will soon jet off to Senegal to start her training at the Dakar High Performance Training Centre (HPTC).
The 23-year-old, who has shown tremendous improvement in the past year, has been granted a scholarship by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to join her compatriot and 400 by 400 teammate Amantle Montsho at the Dakar based HPTC.
Speaking in an interview with Telegraph Sport, Botswana Athletics Association President, Moses Bantsi, said they had approached IAAF to sponsor the young starlet, a request that was ‘gladly accepted.’
“Her scholarship has been finalised and we expect her to go to Senegal very soon. She is currently waiting for her passport and visa which, once done, will see her leave the country,” Bantsi said.
According to the BAA president, Sefu is one of many young athletes that his association was eyeing for further development outside the country. “If finances allowed, we could have taken the whole ladies team that went to the Delhi Commonwealth Games, more especially those not at school, for intensive training elsewhere,” the BAA president further said.
Sefu, who was part of the local ladies 400m by 400 m relay team that made the finals of the Commonwealth team, is looked to as a possible replacement for the 27 year-old-Montsho whose last competitive years may come after Rio 2016 Olympics.
Bantsi, however, says while Sefu may at the time look as a possible replacement, there are still a lot of upcoming talented athletes who will also be considered.
“Unlike Montsho, she has been developed early and hopefully with better training she may be as good if not better than Montsho with time. We chose her because at her age she can represent us in the next few Olympics,” said the BAA chief.
Bantsi’s sentiments were echoed by Sefu’s national team coach, Bobby Gaseitsiwe, who said the starlet has the capability to take the baton from the illustrious Montsho when she hangs up her running boots. He says as the BAA strives to improve, the association is always trying to look ahead and seek as many talented athletes to take over when the current crop of athletes retires.
Meanwhile, Sefu, who is currently in camp with other junior athletes, has expressed joy at the prospect of going to the HPTC to join Montsho.
“I would like to perform better and reduce my personal record time…I want to emulate Amantle and do well for Botswana,” Sefu told Telegraph Sport. “It takes hard work and discipline to make it, but I believe I can make it,” Sefu said when asked what she thought it will take to make it in the professional circuit.