Botswana: Thebe, BAA Smoke Peace Pipe

Gaborone — Botswana's 400m runner, Baboloki Thebe and Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) have smoked a peace pipe.

Thebe and the country's athletics governing body had been at logger-heads regarding his relocation to Ivory Coast.

Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) acting chief executive officer, Wedu Motswetla said the organisation had acted swiftly to address the standoff.

"We did touch base with BAA and they formally wrote to us to approve Thebe's move to Ivory Coast. The issue has been resolved and the athlete shall continue to train there," Motswetla said.

BAA was of the view that Thebe did not follow the right procedure when relocating to Ivory Coast where he was currently training under the experienced coach Anthony Koffi.

BAA vice president, Oabona Theetso said in an interview that as an association they still stood by their word that the athlete flouted the procedure by going without the association's approval.

Theetso said despite that he made a mistake, as BAA it be would however remiss of them to be his stumbling block.

"Look, athletics does not exist without an athlete, therefore we need to advance his interests first, but at the same time advising that he should follow the procedure next time," he said.

Asked what caused Thebe to relocate to Ivory Coast without following the procedure, he said the athlete was impatient but denied that he acted out the frustration he faced from BAA.

On the other hand, Thebe said he was aware that the issue had been resolved, adding he was currently focusing on qualifying for the Olympics.

"So far so good. My body is responding very well and expectation is that I will stay free from injuries because I want to seriously qualify and represent my country at the Olympics," he said.

He said his first race was scheduled for next month, adding he was confident that he would clock a good time.

He indicated that his coach had given him enough time to prepare so that he could return to competition whilst he was fit.

Thebe encouraged other athletes to work hard despite the fact that the world was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and most of them were yet to qualify.

Meanwhile, Thebe's coach is former Amante Montho's trainer. The coach currently trains one of the 100m finest runner Ivorian Marie-Josee Ta Lou.

Source : BOPA

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