BAA bow to athletes’ pressure

Behind the scenes: Kelaotswe is an expert in electronic timing
Behind the scenes: Kelaotswe is an expert in electronic timing

Ahead of the Debswana Botswana Athletics Association National Championships last week, there was tension after athletes petitioned the association over electronic timing concerns.

Athletes' representative, Leaname Maotoanong told MmegiSport that the concern was that in the past few races, there was no electronic timing. He said results from two races that were held in Francistown and another held at the National Stadium in Gaborone were not submitted to the World Athletics due to the absence of the device. Maotoanong said athletes use their own expenses to train and travel to various competitions in an attempt to qualify for various competitions, such as the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, only to find that there is no electronic timing.

According to a letter signed by 28 athletes and delivered to the Botswana Athletics Association (BAA), the aggrieved stated that they appreciate the recent timing course for officials but there are still some issues that require immediate attention. “While the timing course aimed to enhance the skills of local officials, it is evident that further measures are necessary. We propose that officials undergo continued supervision to ensure the accuracy and fairness of timing procedures. This step is essential to guarantee that all athletes receive the fair representation they deserve,” the letter reads. The letter further said the repercussions of inadequate timing and officiating extend beyond mere competition. Without accurate timing, athletes risk their results not being recognised for major competitions such as the World Junior Championships and Olympics.

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