20 April 2017

Botswana: Team Botswana Confident

Gaborone — The Thomas A Robinson National Stadium in Nassau will be the venue to be on Sunday when the Botswana relay teams take to the track.

The Botswana 4x400 women's relay team will be on the track at 2:17 am while the men's teamwill battle it out at 2:53am.

The team left for Bahamas on Wednesday full of confidence ahead of the competition.

The teams coach, Mogomotsi Otsetswe said he was confident that they had prepared well for the competition, adding that they were going to compete and that their presence would be felt by their opponents.

The coach was cagey on which athletes would make it to the starting line-up, save to say that veteran sprinter, Isaac Makwala would lead the team.

However, athletics analyst Billy Tambula predicted the coaches 4x400 men's line up.

He said Makwala was likely to start the race given his experience, adding that there would be a lot of pressure and stage fright which needs an ecperienced campaigner.

He said Makwala had proven to be able to handle pressure that comes with the first leg, and that should he "kick" as expected, his performance would give the youngsters courage and the motivation that they can take it through to the finish line.

In the second leg, he said there was no doubt that Otsetswe would field the confident Karabo Sibanda. He noted that the leg needs the fastest athlete to open the gap, adding that this was the leg in which runners were permitted to cut into the inner lane.

He added that the Maun born Sibanda had what it takes to hand the baton in a very good position looking at his level of fitness and his season best of 45:07.

In the third leg, he said Onkabetse Nkobolo would be the ideal candidate given that the coach would need someone who would be able to either maintain the position or attack when necessary without exposing the team to whoever would be coming from behind.

"We don't want to run out of gas before handing over for the last leg. I believe Nkobolo with his ability to maintain a steady speed even after the 300m mark will be better placed to run this leg," he said.

In the final leg, he said Baboloki Thebe would be perfect given that he had all the required ingredients to take the baton to the finish line without any hassles.

Tambula said if there was any athlete who could take team Botswana to the finals it was Thebe looking at his speed and ability to execute his race plan during the race.

"I believe Baboloki is strong and his seasons best of 44:89 speaks volumes and the opponents are fully aware that he is one of their main stumbling blocks," he said.

In the women's 4x400, he said the coach might start with Christine Botlogetswe looking at her ability to kick the blocks, and then hand the baton to Lydia Jele who would maintain the lead, or do damage control.

In the third leg, he said Galefele Moroko was better placed looking at her capability to maintain the speed, adding that in the final lap Amantle Montsho would do all the dirty work and ultimately help the team to sail through to the finals.

Team Botswana is made up of Jele, Montsho, Botlogetswe, Goitseone Seleka, Moroko, Oarabile Babolayi and Loungo Matlhaku in the 4x400m women

In the 4x400m men, there is Thebe, Sibanda, Boitumelo Masilo, Makwala, Nkobolo and Pako Seribe.

Whereas the mixed relay is made up of Leaname Maotoanong, Jele, Seribe and Montsho. BOPA

Source: BOPA

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