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Forgotten star Sibanda on comeback trail

CALISTUS KOLANTSHO
Back in the picture: Sibanda has made the provisional squad
Karabo Sibanda has been included in the Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) provisional team that went into training camp to prepare for this year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.

The team went into camp on Wednesday in Gaborone, and the 400m runner is part of the squad.  

Sibanda last represented the country at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and has suffered from injuries since. BAA president, Paphane Botlhale said Sibanda has been included in the provisional list as the technical team has accommodated most of the 400m athletes.

“They would ultimately go for time trials. We have worked hard to ensure that he recovers from the injury. He has been attending medical examinations since October,” Botlhale said.

The association’s vice president-technical, Tshepo Kelaotswe said during the camp, athletes would undergo vigorous fitness test, which is a requirement for any national team athletes.

“The pre and post test focus much on the physical testing. The camp started on Thursday and ends on February 8th. The team is injury free,” he said.

Regarding Sibanda’s inclusion in the team, Kelaotswe said the BAA made a special dispensation, adding that the athlete has the potential to qualify for the Olympics.

At the moment, there are only three athletes; Galefele Moroko, Christine Botlogetswe and Nijel Amos, who have booked their tickets to Tokyo.

Kelaotswe said Leungo Scotch is not far off the qualifying time. He said both the men and women’s 4x400m relay teams have qualified as well by virtue of their continental and world rankings. The deadline for Tokyo qualifications

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is June 29. The summer games run from July 24 to August 9.

While the battle is on for the Olympic qualifiers, five athletes booked themselves places at the World Under-20 championships to be held in Kenya. The five, Boitshepiso Kelapile, Bernard Olesitse, Letsile Tebogo, Keoleboga Balemogi and Jayson Mandoze, qualified during the Botswana Games held in Gaborone last month.

Kelapile recorded 11.85 in the women’s 100m, while Olesitse claimed the 400m title with a time of 46.41. Tebogo made the cut in the 200m after winning with a time of 21.12. Balemogi qualified for the men’s 400m hurdles with 53.01 while Mandoze won the 100m men with a time of 10.56.

Meanwhile, BAA has sent out a strong warning to organisers of road races that are not accredited by the association.

Kelaotswe said unaccredited races poseda risk to both the runners and organisers.

“Despite the warnings that were issued some years ago, organisers are still persisting in organising events without endorsement from BAA. Any form of running, endorsement should come from us. We are not aware if it is lack of knowledge or it is just because of how BAA has been doing things in recent years,” he said.

Kelaotswe said mushrooming events clash with the calendar’s events. He also said the practice is against the rules and regulations of the World Athletics.



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