Local athletics lovers will be treated to a number of races when the University of Botswana Athletics Club host the annual Classic Show Down Race today.
The event – one of the first few in Botswana Athletics Association’s (BBA) calendar of events – takes place at UB Stadium from 1700 hours till 1900 hours.
The race is organised for local runners in order for them to check their fitness level ahead of competitive events locally and internationally. Athletes are going to compete in track and field events with 100m, 110m hurdles, 150m, 300m, 600m and 1000m as the main events of the night. High and long jump have also been included in the activities which athletes will compete in.
According to the club spokesperson Tlotlo Kebinakgabo, elite athletes that will partake in the race include Isaac Makwala and Onkabetse Nkobolo having confirmed their participation.
“This is more of a time trial for athletes; that is why we have decided that we are not going to do the normal races. But I can confirm that elite athletes are going to take part in this. I can assure you that Makwala will tussle up with Boitumelo Masilo, Nkobolo and Gaone Maotoanong in the 600m race. However Baboloki Thebe and Pako Seribe are yet to confirm their participation but we are highly hopeful that they are going to register and compete in the event as they are still some days before the event,” he said.
In the ladies side 400m ace Christine Botlogetswe and sprinter Leungo Matlhaku are some of the familiar faces which are also expected at the competition while in the field events Kabelo Kgosiemang, Tshwanelo Aabobbe and Titose Chilume will be available famous sportspersons.
When quizzed if there is any prize money on offer, Kebinakgabo said: “There are no prize monies. As I have already said the race is to just prepare for the new season and check fitness level. You know athletics might be doing well but it is difficult for sponsors to come on board. We are hopeful that in the near future we will secure some sponsors.”
Kebinakgabo further said they have bigger plans for the event in years to come. “We have future plans for this race. We want to offer prize monies, but for now we just need to show people that athletics deserves the same treatment or more as compared to football. It is after all the best performing sport code in Botswana. For now we host only local clubs and athletes only but in the near future we will invite international athletes,” said Kebinakgabo.
Only eight athletes per race are going to be fielded for both juniors and seniors and registration goes for P10.00 for each race. “Athletes are registering in good numbers so far; they are excited because this is the first kind of event to be hosted in Botswana,” said Kebinakgabo.