Mmegi Online :: Athletes disappointed after botched Relays trip
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Last Updated
Thursday 22 August 2019, 08:24 am.
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Athletes disappointed after botched Relays trip

Commonwealth Games 400m champion, Isaac Makwala and counterpart, Baboloki Thebe have been left disappointed after the Botswana team failed to travel to Yokohama, Japan for the World Relays.
By Mqondisi Dube Calistus Kolantsho Fri 10 May 2019, 14:55 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Athletes disappointed after botched Relays trip








Botswana’s 4x400m relay team came second in the last edition of the World Relays held in Bahamas in 2017. The team received global admiration after the Bahamas effort, but will be absent in Yokohama, when the competition takes place this weekend (May 11-12).

The men’s team had formidable athletes such as Makwala, Nijel Amos, Onkabetse Nkobolo and Baboloki Thebe. Botswana had qualified for this year’s edition after coming second to Zimbabwe during an athletics meet in Gaborone last month.

But funds derailed the team’s ambitions, and they will now be spectators as their counterparts sweat it on the track. “There is not much we can say (as athletes). We are disappointed. This will affect the relays team (as they prepare for the World Championships),” Makwala told Mmegi Sport yesterday.

Botswana’s athletics has been on an upward trajectory, with the likes of Makwala, Amos, Thebe, Karabo Sibanda and Amantle Montsho leaving a firm mark on the global tracks. The recent development would be a body blow as the athletes’ ramp up preparations for the World Championships in Doha in September.

Baboloki, like Makwala, was disappointed by the latest developments. “It is a blow because the

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World Relays serve as World Championships qualifiers. We have missed a golden opportunity because at the World Relays we were going to make it to the top 10 and qualify automatically.

“We have to dig deep now to find relay races, and we have to finish in the top six to qualify, but it is going to be difficult because some of the athletes will now be focussing on qualifying for their individual races,” Thebe said.

He said life has to go on, as they cannot “cry over spilt milk”.  Meanwhile, Makwala said he was not in a rush to secure qualification to the World Championships, with the cut-off date still four months away.

Makwala recently returned from injury and has been making measured progress.

“I still have a long way to qualify, August, and I am not in a rush to qualify. My focus and what is on my mind right now, is to get into the top three at the World Championships,” Makwala said.

The athlete had a stellar 2018, as he powered his way to Commonwealth Games glory, and was one of the main draw cards on the IAAF calendar.

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