Botswana: BAA Track, Field Fails to Produce Olympic Qualification

Gaborone — Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) track and field event at the National Stadium on Saturday failed to produce qyalification for Tokyo Olympics.

The 2020 Olympics qualifying closing date is on June 29 and to date, only Amantle Montsho, Christine Botlogetse, Galefele Moroko, Isaac Makwala, Nijel Amos and men's 4x400 metres relay have qualified.

The Saturday's meet was organised by BAA to allow athletes to qualify for the Olympics after the African Senior Championships were cancelled.

Batswana had pinned their hopes on Ivory Coast-based Baboloki Thebe to clock a qualifying time in the 400 metres.

He, however, finished second with 46.47, after Zibani Ngozi who finished first with 45.80, while Onneile Phokedi clocked 46.96 in the third position.

Thebe said in an interview that his mission was to enjoy the race and finish healthy.

"This was my first 400 metres this season. I have not been competing so the whole idea was to feel my body to see how far it can take me," he said.

Thebe said he had other races lined up for him in Europe, where he would try to hit the qualifying mark.Track and field analyst, Omogolo Ramoroba, said 40 athletes were expected to compete in the 400 metres at the Olympics.

Currently, he said, only 16 athletes had successfully met the set Olympic Games standard of 44.90 and 11 being Americans.

According to World Athletics competition regulations each country had to send three representatives per code.

He said if Thebe did not meet the set entry standard, he would need to improve this season's 400m world rankings as the qualifying system for individual events was fundamentally different from previous versions.

"Instead of being only based on set qualifying standards, the new qualifying system is also based on world rankings. If he opened his season with 47s or 48s then we could worry but 46.96 is a positive start that gives him the confidence and an opportunity to make adjustments going into his scheduled races," he said

He said even though the closing date was on June 29, people should not rule out the athlete yet given that Thebe was a reputable 400m athlete who got the legs to go well under 45

In 400 metres women, Botlogetswe finished in position one with 53.69, followed by Galefele Moroko with 53.75, while Motlatsi Rante finished third with 55.88.

Letsile Tebogo continued with his good performance, as his times eclipsed both juniors and the seniors in the 100 and 200m race.

In 100 metres junior category, the Kanye born clocked 10.45 followed by Lundi Pinaemang with 11.02, Gain Modisaemang settled for position three with 11.22.

In 200 metres Tebogo clocked 20.53 while Anthony Pesela and Jayson Mandoze clocked 20.86 and 20.92 respectively.

In the field events, the men's long jump was won by Thapelo Monaiwa with 7.62m followed by Norman Chibane with 7.33m, while Tshireletso Phusudi finished in position three with 7.19m.

Source : BOPA

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