Gazette Sport has compiled a list of events expected to dominate headlines in 2014. The events and other inevitable occurrences will surely result in another memorable year for the local sports scene.
New Zebras coach
The dismissal of Stanley Tshosane last year has left the senior national football team without a head coach for the past two months. The Botswana Football Association (BFA) has advertised the job since last month and the deadline for applications is January 10.
High profile coaches who have been linked with the job include Bobby Williamson, Colwyn Rowe and Uganda coach Milutin Sredojevic. BFA is expected to name a new coach earlier this year to ease the anxiety among fans. Zebras have been inactive since the departure of Tshosane and they need to regroup and prepare for this year’s 2015 AFCON Preliminary Qualifiers.
2014 Africa Youth Games
The second edition of the Africa Youth Games will take place in Gaborone this year. The bid to host the event was won last year ahead of other African nations; the successful bid has encouraged Botswana to harbour dreams of hosting other continental events such as the All Africa Games in 2019.
Botswana’s first ever multi-sport tournament will take place from May 22-31. It will be made up of 20 sport codes, featuring approximately 2500 athletes from around the continent. 54 countries are expected to participate in the tournament. The countdown for the event has already begun with only 135 days left before the event’s opening ceremony.
IAAF Diamond League
Botswana’s sprint queen, Amantle Montsho, has dominated the competition for the past three years. She has won the women’s 400m category for three consecutive years to stand out as the competition’s most successful athlete so far.
Montsho has managed to keep her rivals at bay in this competition and she is arguably the favourite to retain her crown in the Diamond League. Her perennial rivals such as Christine Ohuruogu and Sanya Richards Ross will provide competition for her, a challenge she will surely relish. The first race will be held in Doha, Qatar on May 9th.
Africa Netball Championships
The Botswana senior national netball team will have a chance to redeem themselves after a difficult spell last year when they host the 2014 Africa Netball Championship. World ranking points and a place in next year’s Netball World Cup will be up for grabs at the tournament.
Botswana will aim to qualify for the 2015 World Cup held in Sydney, Australia. In last year’s African Championships Botswana failed to advance to the last stages, and with home advantage at their disposal they will be given another chance to atone for last year’s disappointments. The tournament is likely to be held in September after the Botswana Netball Association (BONA) revealed plans to reschedule the competition.