Gaborone — Six Batswana long distance runners are set to compete at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Denmark on March 31.
The team reported for camp this week and are expected to depart for Denmark on March 28 and return on April 1.
Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) vice president, Kenneth Kikwe said they had selected a formidable team of two women and three men.
In the women category, the country will be represented by Mema Tiango and Mosadikwena Gotswakgosi while in the men's category Rapula Diphoko, Sesebo Matlapeng and Tlholego Keitshokile are expected to hoist the country's flag high.
Kikwe said the team was selected during the BAA Cross Country finals which were held in Palapye recently.
He said their goal was to send more athletes but that due to financial constraints they were forced to settle for five athletes.
"Our grant is at zero so we ended up using our IAAF Olympic Athletics dividend to send the five athletes. We did not have a choice because every time they fail to go and compete due to lack of funds," he said.
Kikwe said the IAAF Olympic Athletics dividend was meant for developing athletes, and that sending them to Denmark was also part of development.
He said for a long time, the Kenyan's and Ethiopian's had been dominating because local athletes did not have exposure.
Kikwe said for Botswana long distance runners to improve they have to compete with the world's best athletes.
He said their target was to see the athletes improving their times so that in the coming competitions they could perform better.
<i>Source : BOPA</i>