Batswana will have to wait a lot longer for Isaac Makwala’s triumphant return to home soil following a heroic 200m-time trial at the recently ended IAAF World Championships. Half the world tuned in to see Makwala qualify for the 200m finals after he was controversially disqualified for the eagerly anticipated 400m final. The 200 and 400m sprinter is expected to be in Zurich, Switzerland where he will compete in the finals of the IAAF Diamond league on 24th August.
The 200m hero will be joined by compatriot Nijel Amos while the rest of Team Botswana arrived home yesterday after failing to secure a single medal from one of the most unpredictable World Championships in recently history. Competing in Zurich has prolonged Makwala’s eagerly anticipated return to Botswana. Despite coming short in securing any medals Makwala won the hearts and sympathy of the international media and people around the world when he ran solo to qualify for the 200m finals.
The local runner went on to become the Internet sensation as track and field enthusiasts mimicked his celebratory push up start after his time trail. However, it is not good news for up and coming runner Baboloki Thebe and points leader 400m at the Diamond league. The celebrated runner sustained a nasty hamstring injury during the highly intense 4x400m final.
In an interview this week, Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) spokesperson Ipolokeng Ramatshaba confirmed that both Makwala and Amos are proceeding to the Diamond League while the rest of the team arrived earlier this week. Ramatshaba said the 2017 edition of the world championships were full of surprises as some of the big names in the sport suffered crushing defeats. He singled out surprise podium finishes from countries like South Africa, Poland and Japan. However Ramatshaba said they could have been singing a different tune if the baton exchanges mishap never occurred in the 400m race. Ramatshaba said preparation for team Botswana went well despite failing to bring home a single medal.
Meanwhile the BAA spokeperson said there was no bad blood between his association and the IAAF following the shocking disqualification of Makwala from the 400m races won by South Africa. “The IAAF are a great organisation and they assisted with expenses incurred by Team Botswana members while competing in London,” he said.
New GU Stadium Excites Mochudi based soccer rivals
Officials at Mochudi village’s biggest soccer clubs Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Mochudi Rovers are excited at the news that their district will soon have a state of the art football stadium after property and construction magnate Nicholas Zackhem announced the erection of the facility for Gaborone United.
Zackhem, owner and director of Zac Construction, revealed recently to this publication that a football stadium would be built in Bokaa village at a cost of P70 million, with the hope that all phases will be completed by 2025.
Edwin Mothulatshipi, Chairman of Centre Chiefs, as well as Mochudi Rovers’ Chairman Sugar Molefhe both spoke to The Midweek Sun on what the construction of the stadium means for their respective clubs. Both admit they would jump at the opportunity to use the facility for their official matches, and based on what Gaborone United financier Zackhem has shared with The Midweek Sun, it will not be difficult for all the other clubs based around the area to use the facility. TO READ THE COMPLETE STORY, BUY THIS WEEK’S EDITION (11 August 2021) OF THE MIDWEEK SUN AT A STORE NEAR YOU.
Local hockey body to incur massive financial loss post Covid-19
Botswana Hockey Association (BHA) President Unaswi Matebu has confessed that her Association will suffer major financial losses post the Covid 19 pandemic that has left the sport fraternity at a standstill.
Matebu recently told this publication that the current situation does not only have tremendous effects on their schedule, but also there will be financial implications more especially that the association does not have full time sponsors.
“We had to cancel most of our calendar activities such as tournaments, national team trainings, Board meetings, and club activities since mid-March this year, all of which have cost us money to prepare for,” Matebu remarked in an interview.
Additionally she said the planning phase for their 5-year Development Plan which was supposed to be launched in June will have to be postponed. Also there are national competitions that were postponed till further notice despite them having already set up teams and having already started preparing.
“Our Indoor Hockey Senior National teams had already started preparations for the Africa Cup of Nations – a World Cup qualifier – that was supposed to be held in June, 2020, in South Africa. Our Field Hockey Senior National teams had already begun preparations for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers that were supposed to be held in August, 2020 in Zimbabwe,” she added.
Moreover, it was going to be an excessively detailed and decorated year for local hockey governing body, with the Youth National teams having already began preparations for the Africa Youth Championships that were billed for September, 2020, in Ghana.
“Player conditioning has obviously been affected because athletes are currently not training as planned and what we had achieved so far might go to waste. We are only hoping that the Continental and World Hockey governing bodies will give us enough time to prepare for these competitions post the pandemic.”