Preparations for Team Botswana which will represent the country at the IAAF World Championships in August 2017 are said to be going well. Even though Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) has not yet released the proper programme for the team’s preparations, athletics Coach Justice Dipeba said he is happy with the performance of the athletes. Dipeba said the athletes continue to put up impressive times in the different competitions they take part in. He said this is promising ahead of the biggest athletics competition in the world. He gave an example with the likes of Baboloki Thebe who continues to take the IAAF Diamond League by storm. Dipeba believes that if the athletes continue to put on the hard work they will do well at the championships in London in August. He, however, acknowledged that it is going to be tough at the competition as it brings together the best of the best. He also said the programme at the championship will be taxing for the athletes might compete in consecutive days. “The world championship is taxing and it is going to be tough for everyone but we are ready to put a big fight. Even the players are working hard and are determined to do well,” said Dipeba. He revealed that if there were competitions for the local athletes more of them would make the cut to the championship to add on to the current team. He said a number of athletes such as Leaname Maotoanong and Boitumelo Masilo are having promising times which could see them qualify if given competition time. Even the men’s 4*100m relay team is said to be in a good spot to qualify if it could have at least two more competitions. Dipeba, therefore, said it would be ideal to take athletes to some competitions to improve the chances of qualifying more of them.
While currently awaiting BAA to finalise the preparations programme for the team, Dipeba said it would be ideal for them to have a hold a final preparations camp somewhere in Europe. “Europe will be ideal for the athletes as they will have the opportunity to acclimatise to the weather conditions before the actual championships. This is will also give them a chance to compete in number of competitions there to test their abilities,” said Dipeba. BAA Vice president Kenneth Kikwe said they are currently working on the budget for the team’s camp. Kikwe said they were planning to have the team to camp in Cardiff, United Kingdom for the whole of July before they move to London for the championships. However, this will depend on whether the association will get financial assistance from government. “To prepare a team to compete for medals at the competition of this calibre requires adequate resources. We are still working on the budget for the team’s camp,” said Kikwe. Meanwhile, Kikwe soothed Batswana’s hearts as he assured them that Karabo Sibanda will be fit and ready ahead of the World championships. He said the athlete is healing well and he is back at training. However, to make sure that he is totally fit and that the injury will not reoccur the athlete will soon leave for Italy to undergo proper rehabilitation and medical examination. He promised Batswana that Sibanda will be part of the team that will be representing the country at the August Championships in London.