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BNOC delays Commonwealth Games team announcement

CALISTUS KOLANTSHO
BNOC CEO Tuelo Serufho
The Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) appears undecided on the announcement of the Commonwealth Games team, after twice postponing a press briefing to unveil the final squad.

The Commonwealth Games would be held in Gold Coast, Australia in April, but the BNOC twice hesitated this week to officially announce the team, after inviting the media to a press briefing.

No reasons have been advanced for the delays, but BNOC said it would call a press conference to make an announcement on a date to be confirmed.

Initially, the announcement was scheduled for Wednesday but was moved to yesterday.

But again, another apology came through, this time the BNOC postponing the announcement indefinitely. 

Meanwhile, the BNOC moved swiftly to deny allegations that they are trimming the Commonwealth Games team due to lack of funds.

“Such allegations are devoid of truth. The truth of the matter is that each country that will be competing at the Commonwealth Games has a cap with respect to the number of athletes they can send to the games,” the BNOC said in a statement.

There were unconfirmed reports that the team going to Australia would be trimmed.

The BNOC said Botswana knew about her quota as far back as early 2017, after which they allocated the country’s 23 athletes slots to National Federations that met the

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qualification standards.

Athletics was given 13 slots, boxing two, lawn bowls seven and swimming one. The BNOC said it received additional slots, two to athletics, and one to boxing.

A weightlifter then met the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) qualification standard and was invited to the games.

“All of these took Botswana’s total quota to 27. As normal in any sport that in the preparatory stages of a competition, you would have a larger pool of athletes than those that will end up representing you at such a competition and trim as you go along. That was the case with the Commonwealth team,” the BNOC said.

The BNOC stated that National Federations have to submit their final lists, matching their quota allocations.

The BNOC said this had nothing to do with funding but purely out of the fact that the CGF would not allow them to send more than 27 athletes to the games, unless they were allocated additional slots.

Boxing and weightlifting will travel and prepare in Poland and Egypt respectively, next week.

Athletics and bowls would have pre-games team camp and competitions in Australia ahead of the Commonwealth Games.



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