The Botswana Athletics Association’s (BAA) Athletics Super Night meet which was held at the National Stadium of Thursday night has been hailed as a success. The meet brought together athletes from across the country to compete in the track and field events. It was the first of its kind as most of BAA races have been held during the day. BAA president Thari Mooketsi professed his delight at how the event went. He was highly impressed by the number of people that came out to witness the Athletics Super Night. Mooketsi said with the support of Batswana they will be able to grow athletics in the country. He said the performance of the athletes also was very impressive given that they are just returning from the holidays. He said the performances are an indication of great things to come this year.
According to Mooketsi, they have learnt much from this event and will be even look to hold a number of such events in future. “This night has been very fruitful for us and we learnt a number of things from it,” he said. It is a norm in the international arena that athletics competitions are held mostly in the evening. Mooketsi said as BAA they have come with the idea of holding the competition in the evenings to come up with something new as well as to avoid the scotching heat during the day. Even though there were some glitches that the BAA president observed, he said overall everything went very well. “We will be working on the little mistakes that we observed so that we improve going forward to make athletics interesting,” he said.
The promising attendance that the event experienced has brought ideas to BAA on how to use the Athletics Super night to raise funds for the association. Mooketsi said they realised that if the spectators could pop out something at the gate this could help the association from over reliance on government grants. He said the money will go a long way in helping the association to further develop athletics.The spectators during the night were mesmerised by the women 200m race which featured the likes of Leungo Matlhaku, Galefele Moroko and Christine Botlogetswe. The tightly contested race saw Botlogetswe emerging victorious after clocking 23.84 seconds. Matlhaku and Moroko finished in second and third positions with 23.94 seconds and 25.11 seconds respectively. All the three women represented the country at the Olympics. In the men’s 400m another Olympian Baboloki Thebe jogged with ease to finish first with a huge gap between him and his competitors.
The BAA started its calendar very early this year to give athletes more opportunity to qualify for the 2018 Commonwealth games. This is to also give them time to prepare well for the competition after they qualify.