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Putting up the very best

SHARE   |   Sunday, 06 July 2014   |   By Othusitse Tlhobogang
Putting up the very best

Botswana sends the strongest team ever to Commonwealth Games 

The best of the best team will represent the country at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow later this month. Team Botswana made up of the country’s crème de la crème athletes that include among them the world’s best 400m runner Amantle Montsho, Olympic medallist Nijel Amos and squash superstar Alister Walker is expected to do wonders at the games.  Botswana will be represented in six sporting codes and the team of 19 athletes has a target of seven medals from the games. The sporting codes that will be represented are Athletics, Boxing, Judo, Table tennis, Squash and Badminton.

When announcing the team on Thursday, Chef de Mission Letsholo Letsholo said since the country performed exceptionally well at the Dehli 2010 Commonwealth Games there is no doubt that the team will do much better this time around. During the Dehli Games Botswana managed to scoop four medals and this time a higher target has been set. Letsholo believes that this will be easily achieved considering the fact that local athletes continue to improve each year.

Athletes, who will be representing Botswana at Glasgow, were selected after passing a set of qualifying standards imposed by Botswana National Olympics Committee (BNOC). Letsholo revealed that the qualifying standards were developed in collaboration with national federations to ensure that the team that represent the country is strong one capable of bringing home medals. The team is composed of experienced athletes who continue to perform well in the global arena. In athletics for example the just released International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) ratings show that Amos is currently rated the number one 800m runner in the world after a an impressive stint in the diamond league. On the other hand Isaac Makwala appears in the top 10 of the world’s best 400 runners while Pako Seribe also features in the top list. This on its own is proof to Letsholo’s words that Team Botswana is capable of surpassing the set target of medals to bring home. 

It has been revealed that the team has been in preparations for the games since 2012. Some of the athletes have been based outside the country undergoing training at their respective bases. The team’s preparations were funded through the Commonwealth Games grant and the Olympic Solidarity through the local body BNOC. The Local Organising Committee chairperson Marumo Morule called on local media to take keen interest on the athletes that are going to the Commonwealth Games, insisting that for the team to succeed they deserve the support from everyone in the country especially the media.