Botswana: Teams Fail to Qualify for World Champs

Gaborone — The Botswana relay teams have failed to qualify for this year’s World Athletics Championships billed for Budapest, Hungary from August 19-27.

The closing date for qualification was on July 20 and both the 4x400m mixed relay and 4x400m women’s relay teams fell outside qualifying bracket.

That had since seen the Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) shift focus and eye the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

In an interview, BAA vice president, Oabona Theetso said the association was also worried about the performance of women athletes, particularly that the last time the 4x400m women’s relay team qualified for the world championships was in 2019.

“This is worrisome. And failure by our relay teams to qualify calls for desperate measures. This means we must go back to the drawing board and turn a corner and make sure that we help our women’s 4×400 team to qualify for the Olympics,” Theetso said.

He said it was important that preparations to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games start in earnest, and thus urged all stakeholders, including Botswana National Sport Commission and Botswana National Olympic Committee to come on board and work with the association to help athletes to qualify, especially women.

“If they cannot qualify as individual athletes, let us help them to qualify as a relay team. It is always worrying to know that the last person to qualify and be dominant was Amantle Montsho,” he said.

He was also worried that other women athletes in the likes of Lydia Jele, Christine Botlogetswe and Galefele Moroko, who also dominated the track at some point, but seem to have lost the steam and some of them were not even competing at the moment.

Asked why women continually struggled to qualify in large numbers compared to their male counterparts, Theetso said the latter were presented with the opportunity to compete in the Diamond Leagues.


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