Gaborone — Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) leadership has welcomed the new Olympic Games dates, rescheduled to July 23 - August 08 next year.
Initially, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games were penciled for July this year, but were cancelled due to countries outcry stemming from COVIT-19 outbreak.
In a recent interview, BAA vice president Oabona Theetso said they welcomed the postponement given that the circumstances were beyond all nations as the pandemic affected the whole World.
He lamented that the postponement might have negative effects on some of the athletes who had already qualified and were looking forward to the competition.
"Take Amantle Montsho for instance, would she still want to compete next year?
That is the big question that we are asking ourselves, given that she desired to hang her spikes," he said.
Despite the bitter side, Theetso said the postponement would give athletes more time to prepare for the Games.
According to Theetso, it would also give coaches ample time, to fully fine-tune where they felt was lagging in their athletes.
He said the IOC was yet to communicate concerning qualification deadline, initially set for June 29.
Theetso said all those who already qualified are still safe, and encouraged that they continue working out to maintain fitness.
Athletics South Africa (ASA) shares the same sentiments with BAA and stated in a press release that the postponement will now allow coaches and athletes to re-align their preparation programmes towards the bigger picture.
According to the release, ASA president Aleck Skhosana said the early announcement is obviously on assumption that the virus will be defeated soon or reduced to a manageable point that will allow for the resumption of full training by athletes around the world.
"We are aware that our world governing body is in talks with the Commonwealth Games Federation to align dates in light of the Olympic Games and is also working to find new dates for the World Athletics Championships in Oregon in 2022.
The outcome of these discussions will assist all federations, athletes, coaches and sponsors to put our ducks in a row." says the release.
Source : BOPA