Botswana’s most celebrated track runner Isaac Makwala is not anywhere near retirement as he sets his eyes on the Tokyo 2020 Olympics that have been moved to 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Makwala has been hard at training trying to qualify for the Olympics but his optimism was halted by the nationwide lockdown that was imposed in order to curb the spread of corona virus.
The 34-year old’s progress has been marred by injuries he incurred mid last year during the diamond league season that saw his performance regress. He has been struggling to get back to his usually state despite having recovered a while ago which is normal for athletes. He had not won any international or regional medal since his return, but he is adamant that he will get back to shape despite covid-19 setback.
Speaking in an Open Discussion with Tsosi Panel discussion via Webinar Makwala boldly announced that he is focusing on qualifying for the Olympics because he still has what it takes to qualify despite his age. “My target was this year’s Olympics, unfortunately they were postponed and the bad part is that I was starting to get in shape and I was also close to hitting the qualifying time. So it means is back to zero again but I will never be discouraged to achieve my goals. I will be mindful of my age but my legs will determine my future in athletics,” he said.
The 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medalist further pleaded with all sports leaders and stakeholders for their full support especially during this period of the corona virus pandemic that has negatively affected all sport fraternity worldwide. “There was a point when I was so stressed that it nearly led to depression when it was announced that all sporting activities were suspended indefinitely due to the pandemic because it meant that everything was frozen. I needed phsycological support so bad but there was no one to talk to, but when we win medals everyone wants to be associated with us. We need to be supported with necessary resources for us to do well for the country,” he said.
He also called for the merging of Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) and Botswana National Olympics Committee (BNOC) for better administration and governance within Botswana sport.