Last Updated
Thursday 18 December 2014, 14:58 pm.
Paxinos ready for Olympics challenge

Swimming is not one of the most popular sports in Botswana. The situation has not been helped by the fact that until recently, there were no world class facilities to cater for the sport.
By Staff Writer Fri 19 Dec 2014, 16:18 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Paxinos ready for Olympics challenge








But after the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, most people might become interested in the sport if youngster Samantha Paxinos hoist Botswana's flag high in the 50m free-style competition.

The 20-year-old is one of the two women in Botswana's team at the Beijing Games. The other one is 400m runner, Amantle Montsho, who has high hopes of a medal. During the colours' presentation at the Gaborone Sun on Wednesday night, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Gladys Kokorwe, said she is concerned about the low number of women athletes in the team. She urged Paxinos to ensure that Team Botswana gets the necessary recognition.

Later, the swimmer told Mmegi Sport that going to represent Botswana at such a high profile event is a huge responsibility.

"There was a time when I thought I was not going to the Olympics, but I got excited when I was reinstated to the team. But right now, I am nervous because it is not easy to compete at the Olympics.

But at the same time, I am honoured to be going out there to represent my country," she said.

She is quick to admit that it is not going to be easy to bring a medal from the games. But she asserted that she might get a medal because she is going to China to compete and not to make numbers.

Paxinos has been to the 2007 All-Africa Games in Algeria where her performance is said to have been satisfactory.

This year, she took part in the Sub-Sahara championships in Malawi and the World Championships in Manchester, England. "I have learnt a lot at all these games and competing against established athletes from countries like America was an eye-opener," she said.

Her coach Allison La Grange said that Paxinos took part the All Africa Games, she has been impressed by her commitment. "Her performance took a nosedive when they were reports that she might no travel to the Olympics.

But she has since recovered and seems to be dedicated. I guess this is the very beginning of her career," said La Grange.

Paxinos is training twice a day preparing for the games and is expected to leave for Beijing on August 5.



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