Five athletes from the Maun Track and Field Athletics Club are among Team Botswana that is headed for the World Athletics Championships set for Budapest, Hungary from the 19th-27th August 2023.
The five are Bayapo Ndori (400m, 4X400m relay), Tshepiso Masalela (800m), Leungo Scotch (400m, 4X400m relay), Thompang Basele (4X400m relay) and Obakeng Kamberuka (4X400m relay).
The athletes form part of the national team that comprises of 14 athletes (eight males and six females) and nine officials.
Other local athletes include Letsile Tebogo (100m/200m), Collen Kebinatshipi (400m,4 X 400m relay), Zibani Ngozi (4 X 400m relay), Laone Dishetelo (4X400 relay), Baboloki Thebe (4 X 400m relay), Lydia Jele (4 X 400m relay), Golekanye Chikani (4X400m relay), Galefele Moroko (4 X 400m relay) and Oratile Nowe (800m,4 X 400m relay).
Speaking during the team’s send-off ceremony in Gaborone recently, Team Manager Tebatso Omphithetse has promised that they will give it their all in Budapest and raise Botswana flag high.
“We can promise that we will do our best in Budapest and raise Botswana flag high because we already earned our stripes. The best thing we can do is to make sure that we compete and bring the medals home,” he said.
Omphithetse said he is honoured to be leading such an experienced team to the championships noting that it has not been an easy journey to qualify for the event, adding that they did their best to make sure the team qualifies especially the relay team. He stated that it has been a journey of series of competitions to select the national team and make sure that all the standards are put in place for the athletes to qualify.
Omphithetse noted among the athletes who will be competing at the championships they have Scotch, Tebogo and Ndori who have already qualified for the Olympics. He added that they are trying by all means to increase the team that will participate at the Olympics set for 2024 in Paris, France.
Meanwhile, the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) last weekend held the 42nd Botswana Sport Awards where the Maun Track and Field Athletics Club athletes kept shinning as Bayapo Ndori walked away with Sportsman of the Year Award while Obakeng Kamberuka won the Junior Sportswoman of the Year Award.
Anthony Pesela, Keitumetse Maitseo, Bayapo Ndori were also among the Men’s 4X400m relay team that received Team of the Year Award. The Coach of the Year Award was won by another Maun native, Kebonyemodisa Mosimanyane while another Maun born Botswana Women’s Football Association Head, Tsholofelo Setlhoko won the WASBO Special Award. Letsile Tebogo scooped three awards being the Junior Sportsman of the Year, minister’s special Award and the Sport-Person of the Year.
The Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) walked away with the National sport Association of the Year award while Sports Administrator of the Year award went to the Former BAA President Paphane Botlhale. The Umpire/Referee of the Year Award went to Dorothy Okatch (Basketball) while Bafitlhelane Matlhare won the Public Athlete of the Year Award.
Solomon Kakuwa walked away with the Electronic Journalist of the Year Award, Calistus Kolantsho won the Print Journalist of the year Award while Phenyo Moalosi won the Photo Journalist of the Year Award. Mmegi won the Print Media House of the Year Award while Botswana Television won the Electronic Media House of the Year Award.
Sportsmen and Sportswomen with Disability Award were scooped by Theo Nkele and Neo Gabontshwe respectively. Meanwhile the late Keitumetse Pio Paul, Ephraim Jiko and Major David Bright have also received the minister’s Special Award.