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Olympic dreams elusive at national champs


GABORONE — Athletes failed to use the National Championships that were held on Saturday in Gaborone, Botswana, to qualify for the Olympic Games.

Three hundred athletes took part in the IAAF-sanctioned event that came at a time when athletes are trying to look for a place in the world games.

However, the upcoming 100m runner Yatea Kambepera was probably the toast of the day breaking the national record clocking 10:36secs. He beat the 10:43secs record set by Obakeng Ngwigwa in Texas in 2008.

However, Botswana will still be hoping that the Maun Athletics Club’s rising star will qualify for the Olympics.

He is part of the team that is currently based in Pretoria High Performance Centre as part of preparations to qualify for the event.

However, the meet produced one of the best events like the 400m that had creme la de creme of athletics in the likes of Isaac Makwala, Pako Seribe, Omphemetse Mokgadi and Thapelo Ketlogetswe that was won by Ketlogetswe in 45:58secs. BAA spokesperson, Ipolokeng Ramatshaba was happy that the event went as planned.

He said although athletes from other countries could not take part in the event, the level of competition was high.

Ramatshaba said although athletes failed to qualify for the Olympics most of them will be able to take part in Africa Cup in Benin in June because they had registered good times. He was also hopeful that more athletes would qualify as they still had more opportunities to do so.

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