Top stars to miss Lefika relays

Absent: Kebinatshipi will not be at the Lefika relays
Absent: Kebinatshipi will not be at the Lefika relays

The much-anticipated Lefika International Relays Continental Tour scheduled for tomorrow at the National Stadium will go ahead without top local athletes.

Initially, the international relays continental tour was to be used as a qualifier for the Guangzhou 2023 World Athletics Relays. However, the World Athletics Council moved the Guangzhou event scheduled for May 13-14 this year to April 2025. “A decision was taken following an agreement between the Local Organising Committee (LOC) and the Chinese Athletics Association because of the pandemic," World Athletics said in a statement. "The postponement impacts the qualification system for the relay events at the Budapest 2023 World Athletics Championships,” the statement adds.

The World Athletics Competition Commission has revised the qualification system to include the top eight teams from the Oregon 2022 World Athletics Championships and the top eight teams from the performance lists. The LOC spokesperson, Charles Keikotlhae told Mmegi Sport that athletes that will not participate at the relays are Tebogo Letsile, Leungo Scotch, Bayapo Ndori, Isaac Makwala, Anthony Pesela, Zibani Ngozi, and Collen Kebinatshipi. He said the athletes are currently engaged in the Diamond League and the Continental Tour Meets in Europe. However, Keikotlhae said the event would go ahead as scheduled. “Of course, we are worried about the impact of the absence of these athletes. But since this is our first event, we believe that we will do better moving forward. Some of our athletes will compete outside to qualify for the Budapest World Championships,” he said.

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