Botswana and Zimbabwe’s 4x100m relay teams have qualified for the IAAF World Relays to be held in Yokohama, Japan from May 11-12.
Zimbabwe finished first with a time of 38.95, breaking their national record while Botswana came second recording 39.01 during Lefika Athletics Club relay and hurdle competitions in Gaborone last Saturday.
The qualifying time for the world relays is 39.10. The Zimbabwe team, which comprised of Dickson Kamungeremu, Tatenda Tsumba, Itayi Vambe and Ngoni Makushawho was on point in the baton exchange, while the Botswana team, made up of Keene Motukisi, Baboloki Thebe, Karabo Mothibi and Xholani Talane fighting spirit pushed an equally determined Zimbabwe team to the limit; hence they both produced good qualifying times.
BOTESSA finished third with 40.55, while fourth position went to individual relay team with 40.71.
Track and field analyst, Billy Tambula said in an interview that Botswana team, which started with Motukisi did well but lost the lead in the third and last leg where the exchange baton was not very fluid. He said it was not easy for the athletes, given that they did not have much time to prepare for the event. He said determination made it possible even though not victorious.
“Most of them are at an early stage of race fitness and would have recorded a better time if they had enough time to prepare,” he said.
Makushawho, who was anchoring the Zimbabwe relay team said they had long planned to break the national record to qualify for the world relays. He said they started their preparations two months ago, adding they knew Botswana would give them a hard time.
For his part, Motukisi said they were happy to hit the qualifying mark, despite preparing for the event in less than two days.
“I think we did our best given the time that we had to prepare together as a team. We had a day or two to prepare,” he said.
He said their mission was to run a good qualifying time, which they managed in their first attempt. Meanwhile, BOTESSA 4×400 have also qualified for FISU Games to be held in Napoli after finishing third in 3:08.22. Orapa Athletics Club got position one with 3:08.08 followed by Lefika Athletics Club with 3:08.22.
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