Deaf athletics team will create history next week when it competes at the inaugural Africa Deaf Athletics Championships scheduled for Nairobi, Kenya.
This is the first time the team takes part in a continental competition.
The tournament runs from September 16 to 22, 2019. Amongst the nations expected are South Africa, Algeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Uganda. The team’s assistant manager, Kebotsemang Maikano said preparations are going well. “We have dealt with issues of passports and ear tests have been done.
Training is also on a high level and our athletes have been competing in different events to gauge their sharpness,” she said. She said since these are the first continental championships, they intend to go out there and set records. Maikano said some athletes know what it means to win and it would be good for them to bring medals.
She said it was a challenge for two athletes to afford passports but the Botswana Deaf Sports Federation president, Shirley Keoagile paid for them. She said sponsorship was a challenge for the team but Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency paid for the tracksuits. Baemedi Kabelo, Akanyang Golebamang and Tlamelo Thomas will compete in long distance races and the marathon.
Golebamang has experience under his belt as he used to take part in some competitions in South Africa where he was a student at National Institute for the Deaf.
The long distance runners recently competed at the BDF Athletics Club half marathon and Airport Junction marathon. Kabelo clocked 38.03 to win a gold medal in the 10km race with Golebamang finishing second, with a time of 38.25. The team: (100m men) – Kealeboga Karesaza and Kebabonye Letlaatla; 200m: Baemedi Kabelo and Kareseza; 400m: Thomas and Kareseza; 800m: Golebamang; Marathon: Golebamang.
Women: 100m – Thabang Maduwe; 200m: Janet Matebu and Maduwe; 400m: Letlhogonolo Wamorena; 800m: Rose Moatswi.