Gaborone — Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) has acted swiftly to intensify security at team Botswana camp, after two elite athletes, Onkabetse Nkobolo and Baboloki Thebe sneaked out on Friday evening.
The two were then involved in a car accident, which left Nkobolo injured, while Thebe was treated and released from the hospital.
BAA vice president, Oabona Theetso said in an interview that the incident had forced his organisation to tighten screws for the athletes in camp.
"As it is right now, it is a curfew and it is compulsory.
It is either you take or leave the camp for good, it is clear, and not negotiable, you break the law, you are out, we expect athletes to go for training and back to their hotel rooms, that is it," he said.
Theetso said they had also limited the visitors and it is only one person per athlete and for only 30 minutes, adding that no visitors would be allowed access to the athletes' rooms.
The vice president said the Saturday incident was an eye opener, adding that in future, they would consider taking their camp outside Gaborone.
"Take for instance Manong, and they train at Lobatse Stadium, don't you think that alone would curb their unnecessary movements and visitors," he said.
He said on Sunday after the incident, they invited a sports psychologist to the camp, to talk to both the athletes and the technical team.
"After talking to us as a team, they have now started the one-on-one sessions.
I think that would help because if you take Boitumelo Masilo, he is not the normal athlete we know, he is now reserved, this has affected them and we think the one-on-one session will help him," he said.
Theetso said Thebe was now back at training, which he said would also help him to deal with the ordeal.
He said Nkobolo was still hospitalised, but his surgery was successful, adding that his legs were now functional.
Meanwhile, only four athletes have so far qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
They are 800 metres' Nijel Amos as well as 400 metres' ladies; Amantle Montsho, Galefele Moroko and Christine Botlogetswe.
Source : BOPA