Botswana: Rankings Give Relay Teams Lifeline

Gaborone — Athletics world governing body, IAAF has released rankings of the relay teams that have qualified for the World Championships billed for Doha in September.

Only top 16 teams will compete at the World Championships, and both Botswana 4x400m men and women relay teams are in the top 16 bracket.

However, should other countries clock better times in the coming competitions, Botswana might miss out.

The men's 4x400m team is ranked 14th after clocking 3:01.78 at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games while the women's team is ranked 12th with a time 3:26:86 they clocked at the same competition.

As it stands, both teams could feature at the World Champsionships should the status quo remain.

Botswana failed to send the men's relay team to Yokohama where they stood a better chance of making it to the top 8 bracket.

Now, Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) has a daunting task of ensuring that the relay teams do better times in their upcoming competitions in order to feature in the World Championships.

BAA vice president-technical Tshepo Kelaotswe said they would engage athletes in other races to better their times so that their positions remained safe.

"IAAF will on weekly bases update the list, but as it stand we have a chance to compete in Doha.

However, we are looking for races and would target events that have more than three nations for IAAF to recognise their times," he said.

Meanwhile, track and field analyst, Billy Tambula said even though the two teams fall within top ranked teams bracket, it was too early to celebrate.

Currently, he said some countries had allowed their athletes to qualify for individual events adding that could help their respective relay teams to produce best splits in relays for better times.

"There is a break until August 18 and countries will be using this period to improve their relay team rankings, so it is important for Botswana relay teams to also compete," he said.

Tambula added that the European Athletics Team Championships, which starts on August 6, might determine Botswana's fate.

Botswana teams would not take part in the compettition since it is strictly for teams from Europe.

Tambula, therefore called on BAA to look for two competitions in Europe so as to improve their standings before the All African Games.

"August is going to be a busy month for those looking to qualify for Doha.

We should also be ready as a lot of movement in relay standing is expected," he said.

Source : BOPA

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