Over 200 to compete at BAA national champs
25 May 2023
Over 200 athletes, including from the neighbouring countries, are expected to compete in the Debswana BAA National Championship which starts today ending Sunday.
Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) vice president-administration, Oabona Theetso said in an interview that all that athletes who would be competing were selected after qualifying for the event during the series that were held by the association. Theetso said countries such as South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe had already confirmed their participation in the national championship.
He added that countries would also field their relay teams. He said some countries were still trying to improve their rankings so that they could qualify for the World Championship.
“For the relay event results to be recognised by World Athletics, three or more countries must compete in that even for the results to be ratified,” he said.
Further, he said the national championship would feature Botswana, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe and the results would be recognised and ranked by the athletics governing body.
Theetso said events would include 100 to 5 000 metres and field events.
“But one disturbing issue is that as much as we want more athletes to compete in the field events, you will find that the numbers are always very low,” he said.
He said the low number could be attributed to the fact that athletes did not compete in the series which were used as qualifiers.
However, he said BAA would continue to dialogue with the affiliates to see what could be done to encourage more athletes to compete in the field events.
He also indicated that the national championship would be used as qualifiers for other major competitions, among them the World Championship to be held in Budapest in August. “In that regard we expect the competition is going to be very tough given that a lot of athletes would be chasing the qualifying standard,” he said. ENDS
Source : BOPA
Author : Anastacia Sibanda
Location : GABORONE
Event : INTERVIEW
Date : 25 May 2023