An overjoyed Botswana team celebrate winning Silver behind USA in the men's 4x400m at the 2017 World Relays. Photo Credit: IAAF

Team Botswana named a strong contingent comprising experienced athletes for the World Relays taking place this weekend in Silesia, Poland, aiming to secure qualifications for some of the Relay events for the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Botswana will be competing in three events: Men’s 4x100m, Men & Women’s 4x400m and then the Mixed 4x400m Relay, listing 19 athletes to compete in these events.

Veteran athlete Isaac Makwala will be leading a 4x400m team that has a blend of
experience and upstarts who are breaking into the Botswana senior team for the
first time in their careers.

Isaac Makwala returns to Botswana’s National Team, hoping he could inspire his teammates to an Olympic qualification.

African Games 400m champion, Leungo Scotch is one of the experienced guys on the team, alongside Ditiro Nzamani who also competed in Rabat in 2019. Boitumelo
Masilo, Bayapo Ndori and Zibane Ngozi all make up the team for the 4x400m.

Having been out of action for almost three years, Botswana fans will be chuffed to
see Karabo Sibanda return to full fitness, making the National team for the first time
since the 2018 Commonwealth Games when he last competed for his country, having copped an injury that kept him out for so long.

Sibanda’s return will bolster Botswana’s team, and just like in 2017 when they won
Silver in Nassau, Bahamas, clocking a time of 3:02.28, they will surely be in the mix
for a medal this weekend.

A team that has Galefele Moroko, Christine Botlogetswe and Amantle Victor-Nkape
(Montsho) should at least get to the final of the women’s 4x400m on paper, barring any relay mishap that could lead to disqualification. Both Moroko (400m PB of 50.49s) and Botlogetswe (400m PB of 50.48s ) are among the fastest female quarter-milers on the continent at the moment, and would make Team Botswana formidable.

Botswana’s Galefele Moroko is toeing the path of her older compatriots in the 400m. She won the African Games title in 2019, and has already qualified for the Olympics in the women’s 400m

Thomphang Basele, Oratile Nowe (both born in the year 2000) and Loungo Matlhaku are the other three athletes listed in the women’s 4x400m, and anyone of
those who get the nod to start will surely improve their team.

Although Botswana is more renowned for its prowess in the 400m, the emergence of Letsile Tebogo could see them make an incursion into the shorter sprints. Tebogo
this season ran a 100m National Record of 10.14s, the fastest time by a Junior in 2021.

Tebogo is one of six athletes listed for the men’s 4x100m, teaming up with Karabo
Mothibi who has a 100m PB of 10.25s, Thapelo Monaiwa, Leaname Maotoanong,
Thuto Masasa and Koorapetse Lesotlho.

Botswana Karabo Sibanda gave USA’s LaShawn Merritt a run for his money at the 2017 IAAF World Relays, pushing for the Gold medal, but eventually settling for Silver. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Team Botswana left Gaborone last week, and briefly camped at the High Performance centre in Pretoria (South Africa) for six days before leaving for Poland on Tuesday.

Botswana’s Team to the World Relays 

Men’s 4x100m: Thapelo Monaiwa , Leaname Maotoanong, Thuto Masasa, Koorapetse Lesotlho, Letsile Tebogo and Karabo Mothibi.

Men’s 4x400m: Karabo Sibanda, Leungo Scotch, Isaac Makwala, Ditiro Nzamani, Boitumelo Masilo, Bayapo Ndori, Zibane Ngozi.

Women’s 4x400m: Galefele Moroko, Christine Botlogetswe, Amantle Victor-Nkape, Thomphang Basele, Oratile Nowe, Loungo Matlhaku.

Mixed 4x400m: The Botswana team for this event has not been named yet (made public).

Both Babaloki Thebe and Onkabetse Nkobolo are injured and missed out on the Botswana team, with Makwala and Sibanda returning to the team. Photo Credit: World Athletics

Athletics coverage was a discovery, having to move away from regularly writing about Football. Although it was initially daunting, but now being an authority in it makes the past effort worthwhile. From travelling on the same international flight with Nigerian athletes, to knowing you could easily interview: World Record holder Tobi Amusan, then Ese Brume, I have cut my teeth in this beat earning the trust of Athletics sources. Formerly the Content Manager-Sports at Ringier media Nigeria, Chris is a Senior Sports writer, Photographer & Community manager at Making of Champions.


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