Sibanda has proven to be a good relay runner, and will be pivotal for Botswana in London. Photo Credit: Making of Champions / PaV Media Ltd

Africa’s sole representatives in the men’s 4x400m, Botswana survived a tough heat on Day 8 of Track and Field at the Rio Olympics to qualify for their first ever Olympic final in the event.

Former African Champion Isaac Makwala ran the first leg for the Motswana, handing the baton to Karabo Sibanda who moved to 2nd place behind USA.

However the baton exchange between the 18-year old Onkabetse Nkobolo wasn’t so smooth, and Gaone Leaname Maotoanong who ran the anchor leg, received the baton in 4th position.

Jamaica’s Javon Francis ran a fantastic anchor leg, overtaking David Veburg just the before the finishing line to win the race in a Season’s Best (SB) of 2:58.29, as US followed in an SB of 2:58.38.

Machel Cedenio finished 3rd for Trinidad and Tobago but the team was eventually disqualified, upgrading Botswana to 3rd position in a National Record (NR) of 2:59.35 , thus making it into Saturday’s final as one of the automatic qualifiers. Poland was 4th in an SB of 2:59.58.

Heat 2 was initially won by Great Britain but the team was eventually disqualified for a lane violation, upgrading Belgium to the top spot with an NR of 2:59.25 as the Bahamas followed in an SB of 2:59.64.

Cuba was 3rd in an SB of 3:00.16, while the home team, Brazil completes the list of qualifiers for Saturday’s final, posting a time of 3:00.43.

As the reigning Afican Champions, the Botswana squad will be aiming to further make history by getting to the podium in the event,

Yemi Galadima is a Senior Sportswriter and Editor at Making of Champions. She has a bias for Athletics and was previously a Sports Reporter at the National Mirror, where she hosted a weekly column ‘On the Track with Yemi Olus’ for over two years. A self-acclaimed ‘athletics junkie’, she has covered national and international events live, such as the African Athletics Championships, African Games, Olympics and World Athletics Championships. She also freelances for World Athletics.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here