The 2020 Tokyo Olympics are done and dusted, but the next four year cycle of the Olympics is already in full swing with the Paris games just a few months away. However Botswana is yet to make any robust plans for the 2024 games despite having only three years to work on a solid team for the global games.
Calls have been made for Botswana to invest in robust preparations for major games; therefore many pundits believe time is now, in order to reap good rewards in the next games.
Botswana National Olympic (BNOC) Committee Strategy and Business Development Manager Baboni Kupe said they will roll out the preparations post evaluation of the Tokyo games performance.
Botswana did send a team of 13 athletes to Tokyo but managed to grab only one bronze medal courtesy of the men’s 4x400m relay team.
“The TOKYO 2020 Games have just ended and that means an evaluation is critical. The BNOC will be undertaking this through the local organizing committee. Do note that the BNOC intends to start preparations as soon as possible and as soon as 2024 preparation plan is ready it shall be shared, ”Kupe told Voice Sport.
Botswana already has youngsters such as Karabo Kula of taekwondo, cyclist Bakang Ebudilwe and Magdeline Moyengwa of weightlifting who were courted by the BNOC for support and preparation for the 2024 games.
Most significantly, age is still on their side which makes them good candidates to form the basis of 2024 team.
The trio were even earmarked for tripartite placement for the last Olympics, however the duo of Ebudilwe and Kula where unsuccessful with their application while Moyengwa did qualify straightway for the games.
In addition the athletics junior team which did wonders at the World Junior Championships is a ripe team which can be nurtured all the way for the Paris 2024 games.
Funding always plays a crucial role in preparations in order for athletes to attend training camps, competitions abroad.
“As it is with all competitions, we have forecasted our budget in advance for the games in order to adequately prepare a team to compete. This budget however is flexible and subject to adjustment including inflationary changes with the passage of time as we get closer to the games,” explained Kupe.
However Commonwealth games are coming in 2022 therefore early preparations for competition are also imperative.
Qualification is already open for the Birmingham games therefore it is significant for national federations to start preparations as earnestly as possible.
When quizzed on how much they have set aside for the games which are set for July 28th until August 8th, Khupe said: “The BNOC does not have a provision to set aside for games preparation instead we submit a budget proposal to the government for funding,” she said.