Botswana’s youthful cyclist Thato Madimabe put up an impressive performance at the on-going 2016 UCI Mountain Bike African Continental Championships in Lesotho on Thursday. Madimabe finished 7th place overall in the individual African Championship Marathon Race (XCM) Day Two. The impressive performance saw him finishing 3rd in the U-23 category. Madimabe has always been considered a promising upcoming cyclist. Prior to the competition he was singled out as one of the riders who will make an impression in Lesotho. The young rider rose to prominence at the 2nd Africa Youth Games which were held in Botswana in 2014. He has never looked back ever since.
According to a statement from the team Manager in Lesotho, this is the first time that Botswana riders crossed the finish line in an individual African Championship event. Botswana cycling Coach Jeremiah Kokwane praised the performance put up by his team considering the tough terrain they competed under.
The coach is confident that the riders will do well in the other races to come. “Today I am a proud coach following the performance put forward by these riders. Even the ladies got everyone’s praise by managing to reach the half way mark of the race while most of the ladies could not. I am proud of the team and looking forward to the next race,” said the coach.
Botswana has sent to Lesotho a team of strong riders to the UCI Mountain Bike African Continental Championships for the first time. The team has had a series of training in Namibia in preparation for this completion. Hopes are high that the riders will bring some medals from this championship and improve their rankings in the world charts. Botswana Cycling Association (BCA) is currently on the development drive to build strong future athletes. BCA’s spokesperson Tlamelo Dude believes that they are currently in the right direction to achieve what they want. Dube said for a long time in Botswana cycling has been perceived as a sport for a certain group of people and this has been impacting on its growth. “We are now on a mission to change this perception and grow the sport locally,” he said.