The Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) intends to give hurdles added attention with more athletes now showing keen interest in the race.
Hurdles were part of the programme during a well-attended Lefika Relays and Hurdles event held at the National Stadium on Saturday evening.
BAA president, Thari Mooketsi told Sport Monitor that the weekend event was meant to ascertain if athletics clubs were active and it was clear that they are doing well.
He said hurdles runners have not been getting enough competition times, but that is going to change.
Mooketsi added that clubs that are not well known in flat races were present, which could be a sign that athletics was on the rise.
“I am impressed by the turn up and high number of participants. I am saying the growth and progress of BAA depends on clubs,” he said.
“If clubs do not grow, it is impossible for the association to grow. The two have to go hand in hand all the time. It is the first event of the year, but clubs and spectators came in large numbers.”
Mooketsi said there were more than 500 athletes competing, a number that BAA national championships never get.
He said the athletes registered good times despite the event being the first competition of the year. He revealed that there was a possibility of having teams qualify for World relays and hurdles if two more events could be organised.
The senior men’s 110m hurdles winner, Kemorena Tisang of Maun Athletics Club
Tisang was followed by Phenyo Moses of Mmadinare club who did 17.85 with Tebogo Mbuso of Sportsview with a time of 20.20. Tisang said preparations ahead of the competition were a challenge because the club does not have a sponsor.
“Despite the challenges that I faced, that did not deter me from achieving my goal. I now stand a chance of competing in the Africa Senior Championship that would be in Morocco. It was difficult to come from Maun to Gaborone but I had to do it for the love of hurdles,” he said.
Tisang said his intention is to grow hurdles because they are not getting enough attention. He said some people like to say he would not make it but that is what motivates him. Tisang said he started running hurdles in 2013 and in 2017 he qualified for Southern Zone championship that were held in Zimbabwe, where he finished in position two to set the national record.
He said if he had stiff competition, he could have done a better time.
The event included 4x200m senior women, 4x200m senior men, 4x100m junior women, 4x800m women, 4x800m senior men, 4x100m senior men, 4x100m senior women and 4x100m T13 men.