Rio bound team to be unveiled

SHARE   |   Thursday, 21 July 2016   |   By Othusitse Tlhobogang
Moruisi Moruisi

The final team that will represent Botswana at the coming Rio 2016 Olympics games will be announced on the 23rd July, 2016 at the National Stadium. The announcement to be done by the Minister of Youth, Sport and Culture Thapelo Olopeng, will be preceded by the Olympic Day Commemoration. The event will start at 0645 hours with a 10km fun run. Botswana has eight individual athletes who have met the qualification standards for the Rio Olympic Games. These are Nijel Amos (800m) Boitumelo Masilo and Isaac Makwala (200m&400m), Onkabetse Nkobolo (400m), Baboloki Thebe (200m & 400m), Karabo Sibanda (400m), Christine Botlogetswe (400m- women) and Lydia Jele (400m-women) from athletics.

Besides the individual qualifiers, Botswana has also secured a place in the Men’s 4 x 400m relay. The team will comprise the best six (6) 400 metre runners in Botswana to be announced. Although swimmer, Naomi Ruele met the Olympic “B” standard time in the 50m freestyle, she did not make it into the FINA quota places of automatic entries following the qualification closing date of 3rd July 2016. This was revealed by Team Botswana Chef De Mission Moses Moruisi on Wednesday. Moruisi, however, said the number of the athlete will grow as Botswana has been given three wildcards by International Olympics Committee (IOC) under the Universality places. Even though he said the three will be announced on Saturday he revealed that the sporting codes to benefit from this are swimming and Judo.

The chef de mission said they are currently happy with the team’s preparation so far. “All Qualified athletes are currently training in Germany, with Baboloki Thebe and Karabo Sibanda in Poland for the U20 World Junior Championships.  From Germany, save for Isaac Makwala and Nijel Amos, the team will be returning to Botswana before departing for Brazil, where they will be based in Blumenau, which is one (1) hour flight from Rio, for the Pre-Games Training Camp at the SESI Sports Complex,” said  Moruisi. Meanwhile, he said they are continuing to monitor the situation in Brazil following the outbreak of Zika virus. He said to prioritise the health of Team Botswana a delegation was dispatched to Brazil to survey the containment and management of the virus at the PGTC venue. “The delegation reported back that the PGTC is of a high standard and has all the necessary health measures in place to safe-guard Team Botswana,” he revealed.