The Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) has put together a strong team to take part at the IAAF World Relays Championships in Bahamas from 22-23 April 2017. The 13-member team is made up of seven men and six women. It is expected to leave the country on 18th April 2017. BAA spokesperson Ipolokeng Ramatshaba said they are confident the team will do well at the world relays. Ramatshaba said local runners have shown character in recent months and is convinced that they will put a strong performance even against established power houses like America. He, however, said they aim to do well and qualify for the IAAF World championships to be held in London in August. “Our aim is for the teams to improve their times and continue the good work they are doing,” said Ramatshaba, adding that they want both men and women teams to qualify and finish in the world’s top nine. Botswana’s 400m relay teams have always done well in the international arena and are expected to continue with that. The 400m men’s relay team is made up of African champion Baboloki Thebe, world youth number two in 400m Karabo Sibanda, former Africa Champion Isaac Makwala, promising Boitumelo Masilo, Onkabetse Nkobolo and Pako Seribe. The women team has Lidia Jele, Amantle Montsho, Christine Botlogetswe, Goitseone Seleka, Galefele Moroko and Loungo Matlhaku. The mixed relay team will be made of Leaname Maotoanong, Jele, Seribe and Montsho.
Ramatshaba said the times of all the athletes that have been selected for the team shows that they have the strength and capability to make this happen. “Most of the athletes in the team are currently running around 45 seconds and one even lower than that. This shows the calibre of runners they are,” he said. He said the team was selected on merit looking at their current performances. He explained that this answer the question why Nijel Amos was omitted form the team. He said Amos was not left out because of any bad blood or that he is being neglected. He said since the selection was based on times from recent performances Amos could not make it as he has not run a single race recently. “Amos is a great athlete and he would record a great time at any point but he did not participate in any race this year, hence he was not being included in the team. The team is currently in camp and it is reported that the mood in the camp is high as the athletes prepare for the competition. “The camp is going on very well. The athletes are looking forward to taking part in this competition as it provides them with an opportunity to showcase their abilities,” said Ramatshaba. The team is under the tutelage of Coach Mogomotsi Otsetswe with Olebogeng Oitebetse as the Team manager.