Boxing sensation, Rajab Otukile Mahommed has qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, becoming the sixth local athlete to do so.
Mahommed is the second boxer to qualify for the Olympics after Keamogetse Kenosi, a female. Other members of the Olympics team are track stars, Nijel Amos, Amantle Montsho, Christine Botlogetswe and Galefele Moroko. Mahommed earned a place in the men’s flyweight division (48kg to 52kg) through the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Boxing Task Force (BTF) ranking system.
The new qualification system worked in Mahommed’s favour because in his category he was ranked number three. However, technically he was number one because all boxers above him had also qualified. The slots were allocated to best-ranked athletes who had not yet qualified per region and per weight category, as per the BTF rankings upon the conclusion of each respective continental event.
National team coach, Master Luza said he was excited about the decision to allocate Mahommed a slot. He said the boxer worked hard in 2019. Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) spokesperson, Taolo Tlouetsile told Sport Monitor that they were excited about Mahommed’s achievement. He said the boxer had been working hard and it was going to be painful for him not to qualify.
“It is an indication of how much effort we have put together as an association. We have good structures in place that played a critical role in making sure that the boxer is in good shape,” he said.
Tlouetsile said as the term of the executive committee comes to an end, they are happy about the record they leave behind.
Meanwhile, Team Botswana chef de mission, Tshepo Sitale said preparations for the Olympics were going as planned.
“All codes are in camp, athletics, boxing and cycling. The Paralympics Association of Botswana (PASSOBO) also has a team in camp. Athletics is expected to travel to South Africa this week for a competition and also send a team to the World relays,” Sitale said.
Meanwhile, Sitale said athletics team member who recently tested positive to COVID-19 did not spread the virus in the camp.
“We have strict protocols in the camp, hence we managed to contain the virus before it could spread,” he said.
The intention is to qualify 10 more athletes for the Summer Games with a target of two medals.
Botswana National Olympic Committee is yet to unveil the official kit sponsor. Sitale said they were in talks with one of local clothing brands to be hospitality kit sponsor.