Baboloki Thebe stormed to a World Leading (WL) time of 44.89s, clinching victory in the men’s 400m at the Botswana Athletics Association meet held in Francistown on Saturday.
So far, Thebe’s time is the fastest in the outdoor circuit this year which will see him rank as the number one male quarter-miler, taking over from his compatriot Karabo Sibanda who posted a time of 45.26s earlier in January while competing in Orapa.
Interestingly, it is the first time that Thebe is competing in 2017 having been sidelined since with an injury, and he beat his closest challenger by over a second. Onkabetse Nkobolo finished 2nd with a time of 46.35s, while Pako Seribe came in 3rd clocking 47.12s .
Already, the African champion has qualified for the 2017 World Championships by virtue of winning the continental title last year in Durban. We could see two more 400m athletes qualifying, joining Sibanda and Thebe to make it four individual competitors from Botswana who would compete in the one lap race in London.
Last year, Botswana got to the final of the 4x400m at the Olympics, this year they will be hoping they can execute an efficient race in other to finish on the podium.
Meanwhile in the women’s category, 2011 World Champion Amantle Montsho has become the second Botswana female athlete to qualify for the women’s 400m at the World Championships.
Montsho won the women’s 400m with a time of 52.00s, a mark that see’s her meet the IAAF qualification standard of 52.10s. She joins Lydia Jele who had earlier qualified in Pretoria clocking 51.96s. Christine Botlogetswe finished 2nd in 52.75s, while Galefele Moroko placed 3rd in 55.20s.
Considering how well Botswana is churning good quarter-milers, it won’t be a surprise to see the country medal in the event at the World Championships.