Gaborone — Botswana Cycling Association (BCA) has selected Bakang Ebudilwe for Olympic wildcard entry into the Mountain Bike Cross Country (MTB XCO) discipline for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
BCA president Mmetla Masire confirmed Ebudilwe's selection in an interview.
A wild card is afforded sports person who did not qualify, determined by a 'continental representation formula' on a sport-by-sport basis to encourage sports participation mostly in developing nations.
Botswana's sensational 400m sprinter, Amantle Montsho started her participation in the Olympic Games via wild card in 2004 and reached the finals at Athens, Greece.
Masire indicated that 24-year-old national champion was currently undergoing special training with appropriate support, which would enhance her performance in the coming Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) accredited races.
Masire said the young athlete needed to perform well to get the necessary UCI points for the wild card Olympics Games.
In an interview, BCA national coach Jerry Kokwane, indicated that the MTB XCO discipline was a very high technical discipline with drops and rock gardens and uphills and needed intense training for such profiling.
He said an athlete needed to master all the techniques and be able to competitively display the right strength, skills and endurance.
Initially, a road race rider from her club, Kokwane explained that with the discipline, she would be competing under, she had been put on transition phase and her acclimatisation stages monitored for smooth transition to MTB XCO competitions.
He also added that at national level, they had been building on her character to move away from a club rider to individual rider, which Kokwane noted it had shown results as they now see improvement on races.
With regard to training sessions, Kokwane noted that the team came with training blocks and had set targets set for her.
He said they would start their build up training plans with base training, which would thereafter take her to UCI XCO category accredited races in South Africa.
Despite challenges poised by the COVID-19 pandemic, Kokwane said preparations were going well adding that it was also a challenging to plan around the pandemic especially for cross country travels where they hoped to get most of the trainings.
However, he said they would utilise what they had at the moment and the support from BNOC, adding that safety of the participants from COVID-19 would always be a priority. BOPA
Source : BOPA