By Friday evening Team Botswana which represented country at the just-ended African Games in Congo Brazzaville had collected 14 medals missing out on the their target by six medals. Even though by time of going to print Taekwondo was still on with Botswana represented by one player it still means the team could not reach the target of 20 medals.
The 14 medals that Botswana got include three gold medals, four silvers and seven bronze medals. The gold medals came courtesy of Kabelo Kgosiemang of High jump, Isaac Makwala of 400m and Nijel Amos in 800m.
Despite missing the target Team Botswana Chef de Mission Seabe Raditladi said the team tried its best to bring forth the results. Raditladi, however, said it looked like some athletes lacked aggression to win the medals. “It looks like when it mattered the most we were unable to push through to get the desired results. Some athletes did very well but went down during the medal games,” said Raditladi.
He, however, said the athletes tried very hard to produce the results. Raditladi said that overall the athletes showed character to put up a challenge to the competitors. He believes that Botswana could have bagged a number of medals in athletics but it did not turn out that way.
The team was set to bring home a total of seven gold medals, six silvers and five bronzes. The team could only surpass the bronze medals target. The deficit of medals means that Team Botswana did not only fail to meet the set target but also performed worse than at the last games that were held in Mozambique. In 2011 the team that represented the country came back with a total of 16 medals.
The team had left the country in a chartered plane as the Minister of Youth Sport and Culture Thapelo Olopeng wanted them to be comfortable before the start of the games.
Olopeng, however, told the athletes during their send-off ceremony that they should not be under pressure but go out and make Botswana proud. He pointed out that from now on he wants sport to be run professionally so that even the athletes could feel well taken care of. The minister said all the stakeholders should come on board to improve the standard of sport in the country.