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Focus on Tokyo 2020 Olympics

SHARE   |   Monday, 07 October 2019   |   By Baitshepi Sekgweng
Nijel Amos Nijel Amos Pressphoto

      After multiple injuries derail Doha plans

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      Botswana athletes return empty handed  from World Champs

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Prior  to  the  IAAF  World Championships in Doha, Qatar  local  athletes  were expected  to shine  and prove their  mettle against  other   best  athletes   from across  the  world. However  just  like  two years  back in London  it seems  like the  team  will return  home empty   handed when  it comes   to  medals. Though  Botswana  did   send   a contingent  of 13 athletes   with  four of  them having   qualified   for  individual  races, no  athlete  managed to   reach  the finals from  the blue, black and white  camp due  to  injuries  and tough   competition. Following a  dismal  showing in the   individual  events  coupled with   injuries  which affected  performance of  athletes and barred some from  competing, Botswana’s  medal  hopes  remains  on the relay  teams.

Nijel  Amos   who  carried  the  country’s in his quest  for a   first world  championship  medal  was the   first   athlete   to  go out  of the competition  without even  tasting action. Amos  sustained  an  injury   few    hours   before  the   start  of the  800m  heats  a predicament  which  forced the  medical   team to pull him  out of  the competition due to   fears  of  aggravating    his  injury. The  25  year old was one  of the  athletes  who  was being   tipped  to  shine at this  year’s  championships   considering   his splendid  form  throughout  the season- he was also one of Botswana’s  leading   medal prospects.

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Another  athlete   who  has  been on a fine form  Galefele   Moroko    was forced  to  pull  out of the  competition   after  sustaining an  injury   during the 400m  semifinals though   she was one of  the   athletes   destined   to  do  everything  to   reach  the  finals. Moroko who appears to have suffered a hamstring   injury will be out of action   for a period of 6-8 weeks while   recuperating. Leungo Scotch and Christine Botlogetswe   possess  minor  injuries  though  they  managed  to finish  their   respective races throughout-with  Botlogetswe   finishing  6th  during  the heats while  Scotch  managed  to  reach only  semifinals. however  the  positives   that  can  be   drawn from  Scotch’s performance is    that he   managed to improve  his times  clocking two  successive personal   bests of  45.10 and 45.00 seconds respectively. Ditiro  Nzamani  a debutant at the  competition  also  had   a  tournament  to  forget  after  he failed to progress   to  the  semifinals  after  finishing  4th  during the  heats .

“I think our performance was good because this is a team of young athletes and at the world championships you do not just sail to the finals. It is tough competition, even to go through the first round you work hard. I think in an event like 400m we should have made it through to the finals but unfortunately Moroko   got injured. But I think  our athletes have  seen that it  is possible  for them to compete with other top athletes, remember  almost  all of them  is their  first  time to compete  at this level,” said  coach Justice  Dipeba in an interview.

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For the past  years local  athletes  have been  troubled  by  injures  which  have  sidelined  them   from action  for some  time. Baboloki  Thebe  has been   struggling  with  injuries  this season  which  affected  his  performance at the Diamond League  series- he went on the  incur another one during the Africa games which  forced  him  out of the  team  though  he did  qualify  for  the  World Championships. Isaac Makwala  and Karabo Sibanda have also been   battling  with   long  term  injuries  which have even   barred  them  from   trying   to  qualify   for  the  biennial  track and field   event. When quizzed if there is something   that Botswana is not doing right in terms of training athletes Dipeba had to say this,

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“Injuries are part of our sport but like I said before we as coaches cannot be the only   people who are preparing the athletes. We need to have more personnel to help avoid these injuries, we need physiotherapists and dieticians. So  now  we have to come back home, take little  rest and head back  to    training  because   we don’t   have much  time  left until  the  Olympics, we have to hit the  ground running,” he said. As it stands only Botlogetswe, Amos and Moroko have qualified for Olympics.



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