16 April 2018

Botswana Ups Games Record

Gaborone — Despite failing to reach their eight medal target, the XXI Commonwealth Games will forever be remembered by the nation as the best edition, since Botswana's debut at the Games in 1974.

For the first time in history Botswana managed to win more than one gold at the Games, winning three gold medals by Amantle Montsho, Isaac Makwala, and the 4x400 metre men's relay team. Botswana won a silver medal courtesy of 400 metres promising athlete Baboloki Thebe and the 4x400 metre women's relay won bronze making a total of five medals that the team has won in Gold Coast.

Botswana is also the first country to win a gold in both the men's and women's 400m title in the history of the Commonwealth Games.

It is also the first time in the history that the team had achieved a position one and two at an event bigger than African Championships .It was the first time Botswana had two women in the finals of an international competition in the mould of Commonwealth Games, World Championships or Olympic Games.

Botswana in 1986 competed at the Edinburgh Commonwealth Games but won only one bronze medal by Flora Flora Anderson and in 1994 in Victoria France Mabiletsa of Boxing won another bronze medal.

Botswana increased the tally to three medals in Manchester with long jumper Gable Garenamotse and Lechedzani Luza winning silver medals, while Gilbert Khunwane of Boxing won a bronze.

In Melbourne in 2006, Garenamotse continued with his good performance winning a silver while boxer Mmoloki Nogeng bagged a bronze medal.

Then in 2010 in Delhi Botswana made a significant improvement winning four medals in the event winning the first ever gold medals at the Commonwealth through 400 metres runner Amantle Montsho with a Commonwealth Games Record(GR) of 50.10 a record that is yet to be broken .

At the same Games, Tirafalo Seoko was awarded a silver medal after his semi-final opponent was disqualified while, high jumper Kabelo Kgosiemang and boxer Oteng Oteng won bronze medals.

The 2010 feat gave Batswana a ray of hope that the country will surpass the medal count in 2014 Glasgow, but that was not to be as Botswana won one gold medal by 800 metres runner, Nijel Amos.

This edition Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) had send Athletics, Boxing, Lawn bowls Swimming and Weightlifting to the Commonwealth Games but all the five medals were won by Athletics.

However, sport administrator Patrick Moesi said in an interview that BNOC could have achieved more had the other codes also come to the party "I believe that boxing and bowling have the potential but they underperformed at the Games. These two codes have been taking part in the Games for a long time and have even brought medals before," he said.

Moesi said with their experience, they should have at least won two medals, given that it was important that all codes contribute collectively to the medal target, adding that the medal target was very realistic and achievable.

Talking about athletics, Moesi said the athletes' performance was the best they had in a long time at the Games.

"Actually the performance of the team has generally saved the whole team. If it were not for the injury incurred by Nijel Amos, athletics alone could have contributed six medals to the team.

He said individually it was worthy to note the sterling performances by Makwala and Montsho, adding that Christine Botlogetswe did her best as well, having been able to record Personal Bests in all her events and capping that with a national record in the 4 x 400m women's relay.

Moesi said going forward there should be a lot of efforts to keep the ladies 4 x 400m together and give them more competitions to strengthen them ahead of the Africa Championships later this year. He said the issue of persistent and recurring injuries should also be addressed to enable the team to be at full strength all the time.

Source : BOPA

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