The Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) president Thari Mooketsi has assured Batswana that the 400m sensation Karabo Sibanda will be fit and ready in time for the IAAF World Championships. There have been fears that Sibanda might miss the IAAF World Championships after he suffered an injury at the Eugene Diamond League meet last weekend. Sibanda suffered a hamstring injury within 100m of his second Diamond league 400m race where he was expected to give tough competition to America’s LaShwan Merrit. Sibanda has been showing signs of improvement in every race he has run. The young runner is a huge medal prospect at the world championships and missing the tournament will be a big blow to Botswana. Mooketsi has called for calm, insisting that Sibanda will be competing at the World Championship. Mooketsi, however, said they are still awaiting a full medical report on the injury. “I met with him on Wednesday and he told me that he is recovering well. We are however awaiting a full medical report to determine the extent of the injury,” he said. According to Mooketsi, Sibanda said he felt the injury at a very early stage of the race and immediately stopped. Despite the magnitude of the race and what was at stake the athlete did not force himself to continue the race. Mooketsi said Sibanda made a good choice to stop immediately to avoid worsening the situation.
Injuries have always cost local athletes as they are always injured and caused to miss some high profile competitions. There have always been worries that this happens because sometimes the athletes go to competitions without medical personnel like physiotherapists. Addressing this Mooketsi said when athletes go to international events they always make sure that they are accompanied by such personnel. He, however, explained that in other instances where such people cannot accompany the athletes arrangements are made to seek help from someone at the competition. “Like in the case of Bahamas an arrangement was made with someone to take care of the athletes while there,” he explained. Mooketsi said in the case of the Diamond league where the athletes go and participate in only one event they go alone. He said for diamond league all their arrangements are done by their sponsor Nike. This has not sat down well with some within BAA who feel the athletes need to be accompanied by someone from Botswana.
However, the BAA president said the association is equally concerned with the fitness of the athletes before the world championships. He revealed that they are currently in talks with Botswana National Olympics Committee to organise thorough medical examinations for the team. He said the examinations are planned to take place form the 11th June 2017. “Our wish is that the team could be at a High Performance Centre in South Africa by now where they will undergo training and medical checks before the championships. The problem is that it is too expensive hence we resorted to organise something here at home,” said Mooketsi.