"We are expecting two medals"-Sitale
Botswana has set a target of atleast two medals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games, which start on July 23. Tokyo 2020 Team Botswana Chef De Mission (CDM), Tshepo Sitale assured that the the athletes are safe despite the Covid-19 third wave spiraling out of control in the host country, Japan.
"World Health Organization and IOC have been working together with Japanese government. So, all is in place to deliver safe games and most games safety is also available on IOC website," Sitale added. Moreover there will be no spectators at this year's games but Sitale mentioned that things may be subject to change post a meeting he is scheduled to have with other Chef De Mission. The Botswana team is currently going through a Pre-games Training Camp (PGTC) in Yokohama before proceeding to Tokyo for the Olympics. The boxing team arrived in Russia this past thursday as well for their PGTC before the games begin.
National Team Coach Justice Dipeeba said the team is doing well since their arrival in Tokyo Wednesday Morning. "Part of the team is in Japan, while others are back home waiting for the second shot of the vaccine. They will join the rest of the team later," he said. Notably so, Baboloki Thebe was one of the very last athletes to qualify for the Olympics almost forfeiting this season. Dipeeba recognizes Thebe as always having been part of the team and attributes the mishaps to a number of reasons some of which include delays in competing as the young athlete started his season late. Additionally, Thebe is said to have failed to secure his Visa to Europe well in time but is fortunate to be competing at the moment.
Botswana Athletics Association Vice President Oabona Theetso said the needs of the national athletics team have only been partially attended to following their departure for Tokyo 2020 Olympics this past Tuesday. He said issue of sports suspension are still lacking behind as well as the BAA suspension.
Theetso believes more could have been done to address the aforementioned matters. Moreover, he said there is lack of sufficient support for the athletes such as the availability of physiotherapists for the team on camp. On a lighter note, Theetso is certain that there is a balance in how the team chosen stating that there is inclusion of experienced and inexperienced athletes who are ready to leave a legacy at the Olympics. "As of now they are all fit. Those with injuries remained home but we will hear from the team manager next week post final fitness tests. On the issue of medals, anyone who has qualified is a medal prospect," Theetso added.
All hope lays in the team with spectators anticipating only the very best and Government on its part has managed to deliver on the promises made to the athletes prior to the Olympics. Team Manager Raymond Phale confirmed that the P25 000 today incentive for qualifying as promised by Minster for Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development (MYSC) Tumiso Rakgare was paid to the Athletes.
Final Botswana Team Tokyo 2020 Olympics
Christine Botlogetswe 400m
Amantle Montsho 400m
Gaefele Moroko 400m
Isaac Makwala 400m/ 4*400m Relay
Leungo Scotch 400m/ 4*400m Relay
Zibane Ngozi 4*400m Relay
Anthony Pesela 4*400m Relay
Bayapo Ndori 4*400m Relay
Baboloki Thebe 4*400m Relay
Nijel Amos 800m
TEAM MANAGER: Raymond Phale
ASSISTANT COACH: Kebonyemodisa Mosimanayana
HEAD COACH: Justice Dipeba
COACH: Alex Rankgwe
Mahommed Rajab Otukile
Keamogetse S. Kenosi
COACH: Lechedzani Luza