Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) president, Moses Bantsi says they will closely monitor athletesâ€™ programme to avoid burn out as they prepare for the World Championships scheduled for London in August.
Speaking after the BAA track and field competition held in Gaborone, Bantsi said they are going to be very strict with their athletes. “We are not going to allow our athletes to run (too) many races before the World Championships as we want to win medals (in London),” he said. He said the BAA will stage a number of track and field competitions in order to prepare the athletes for international competitions this year.
Bantsi said there will be a National Youth and Junior Championship in April while the Senior National Championships will be in mid-May.
Bantsi said they have many international competitions, which include the IAAF World relays, which are going to be held in Bahamas towards the end of April. “We will be sending two relay teams being the 4x400m for both men and women. The top eight teams in Bahamas automatically qualify for the World Championships, so we hope our teams qualify,” Bantsi said.
He said they will also send a team to the World Cross Country Championships in Kampala, Uganda on March 26. Botswana will participate at the World Under-18 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya in July. “We also have two major events in Africa; the African Under-18 Championships in Equatorial Guinea and the African Under-20 Championships in Algeria,” he said. Bantsi said they are blessed to be welcoming back Amantle Montsho who is expected to be on the track at the next local BAA competition on February 18. “We also hope she will be part of team that goes to Bahamas World relays,” he said. He said they have talent to represent the country well this year and noted that one is not guaranteed a place in the relays. Bantsi said for now athletes are competing through their respective clubs.
“If they run well they are going to be selected for a camp, from where they will be under the care of the association,” he said. Bantsi said they have about six women athletes under the Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) Zebra funding, which means they are always in camp.