The usual athletes’ parade in a hospitality kit during the Olympic Games send-off ceremony never took place this year, with the local Olympians spotted wearing different attire. Mmegi Sport has learnt the first group left for the Olympic Games, which kick-off in Tokyo next week Friday, without the hospitality kit.
The remaining group, comprising Amantle Montsho, Baboloki Thebe, Anthony Pesela and Kebonyemodisa Mosimanyane, left with the kit on Tuesday.
The boxing team went to Russia without the kit on July 5, 2021.
The team manager was forced to remain behind and wait for the kit but was unsuccessful before he left on July 7.
“There was a delay in the delivery by a local supplier. When Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) realised that, they decided to purchase a kit from PUMA. The last group to leave was forced to take off their Nike tracksuits and wear the local brand,” a source said.
Apparently, All Kasi delivered the kit on the day the team left for Tokyo. The kit was then returned to the supplier since it was delivered late, reportedly forcing All Kasi to apologise to the BNOC.
Contacted for comment, All Kasi marketing director, Barnes Maplanka said the allegations should be verified with BNOC. He said they are not aware of any late deliveries. He said the set date for delivery was July 6, which they met.
Olympics team chef de mission Tshepo Sitale said the team left with part of the kit last week. He said the delay in delivering the kit was due to the closure of the borders some few weeks ago.
“We have the hospitality kit and there is competition gear, which all form team kit. You would note that athletics have Nike sponsorship for competition attire. Boxing have a different arrangement for their competition attire and so is swimming and others,” Sitale said.
He said for the hospitality kit, which comprises a tracksuit and t-shirt used outside competition, they have All Kasi wear, then for the opening ceremony, it is leteisi (German print).
When asked about Puma, Sitale said they purchased raincoats and windbreakers from the company.
Meanwhile, All Kasi managing director, Ludo Kemoeng did not take kindly when asked about the delays of the kit.
“Who made those allegations? I do not react to unfounded allegations. What border? I think you are talking to or about the wrong company,” he lashed.
Efforts to get a comment from BNOC business development and strategy manager, Baboni Kupe were unsuccessful. Kupe had promised to return Mmegi Sport calls.