The Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) was left with an egg on the face on Saturday as they could not operate a timing machine. The machine was to be used during the BAA track and field championship held at the University of Botswana stadium.
The challenge emanated from the absence of Tshepho Kelaotswe who is the only qualified timer in the country. BAA vice president, Kenneth Kikwe admitted to Monitor Sport that they were having a challenge with the timer. He said the machine was needed for qualifications in senior races of 100m and 800m while in the junior events, athletes could qualify for international competitions with a hand timer.
“The interface is not responding but people who usually operate it are absent. We have other people that we are still training to be timers. For the sake of progress we decided to use the old timing system. We could still have athletes qualifying, but the challenge would be when we have 100m runners finishing close to each other,” he said.
Kikwe said it was not the first time they had the same challenge. He said last year Kelaotswe was attending a course and there was no timer. He said that forced them to send two women for a timing course in Zambia. Kikwe said the course is organised by Confederation of African Athletics-Southern region. He said they have completed the course, but for them to be perfect timers they need a lot of practice. Kikwe said they could
“There are more than 10 other people that we are grooming. In athletics we have judges and chief judges. We should now move to a stage where Kelaotswe should be a chief photo finisher not just a photo finisher. It is a challenge to have this situation now but we tried to put other measures in place. The situation motivated us,” Kikwe said.
He said the event was not in the BAA calendar because their athletes did well this season. He said they decided to give those who had not qualified for Africa senior championships a chance to try their luck. Kikwe said they did not expect elite athletes because they are busy at the Diamond league. Despite that, Kikwe said the quality was below what they had expected.
Some of the results: Tshwanelo Aobobe (High jump 2.15. He has qualified for the Africa senior championship). Aobakwe Nkobela (2.05) and Logic Motshwaredi (2m).
100m junior women: Kgalalelo Mogomo 12.26, Katso Wamakala 12.58 and Belinda Lokoso 12.41. 100m junior men: Thuto Masasa 10.05, Thuso Machara 10.18 and Gabriel Tshokonego 10.29.
100m senior men: Karabo Mothibi 10.10, Keene Motokisi 10.44 and Poloko Mhaladi 10.50.