Commonwealth Games athletics team manager, Olebogeng Ontebetse has dismissed claims that Baboloki Thebe and Karabo Mothibi are not fit to compete at the ongoing event.
Both athletes had indicated that they are not fit when they competed yesterday at the games taking place at the Gold Coast, Australia.
However, Ontebetse shot down the claims and said all the athletes were fit for the competition.
“Will Thebe be running if the medical report did not clear him? Was Mothibi injured when we left Botswana? He ran at Brisbane. You should differentiate an injury, fatigue and competition pressure,” she lashed out.
The men’s team started competing yesterday with Thebe, Isaac Makwala and Karabo Sibanda qualifying for the semi-finals. The 100m sprinter, Mothibi who was making his debut at the Commonwealth games finished in position four with a time of 10:42. Speaking to Monitor Sport about the performance of the athletes so far, athletics analyst, Billy Tambula said he felt Mothibi did not kick well from the starting blocks.
“He recovered well midway to challenge automatic qualification. He lost rhythm in the last ten meters. He was not able to dip at the finishing line. It seemed like he was feeling something in his legs towards the end. Despite that, he did well in his debut but he was not at his best. Let us hope he is not injured because we need him for the 200m,” Tambula said.
On Makwala, Tambula said the first 200m was very fast for him and closed the stagger on the athletes in the outside lane, making sure that he reaches the last curve in front.
“He took the 100m jogging to cross the line unchallenged.
He felt Sibanda started the race a bit slower hence the Kenyan runner who was in the inner lane passed him. He said Sibanda used a relatively steady pace for the first 300m despite other athletes pushing hard for the lead.
“He started using his speed in the last 70 meters to make sure that he gets automatic qualification. It is worth noting that he did stick to his tactics of being cautious because he is coming from injury,” he said.
Tambula said Sibanda has not been training hence he is a bit rusty but is expected to grow with the competition. He said Thebe on the other hand has not recovered from the injury. He said the athlete maintained a fairly good pace for most of the race.
“I also think he wanted to make sure that he feels his muscles first before powering for the winning position. He tried to push for a better position towards the finish line that is when he could feel the need to relax. Thebe got his automatic qualification but he is not yet where he is supposed to be. I think the injury is still limiting him,” he said.