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Athletics Return Delayed

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BAA was planning to return with its competitions this Saturday but they will however have to wait a little longer due to the Greater Gaborone Zone lock down

TLOTLO KEBINAKGABO

Athletes will have to wait a little longer to return to the track after Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) took a decision to cancel all races that they scheduled for this month.

According to BAA, their decision was made following the government (through the COVID-19 Task Force)’s decision to effect a two week lock down in the Greater Gaborone Zone due to the exposure of the virus in the zone. The lock down was effected on Thursday at mid-night.

“We believe that it will be best for all of us if we cancel all of our August 2020 proposed activities and wait for the Health Authorities to give guidance going forward,” BAA through their vice president administration Oabona Theetso stated in a media statement released this past weekend. “As much as this is an unbearable situation for all of us, we kindly plead with the athletics family (Managers, Officials, Coaches, Athletes and our Stakeholders) to be patient and follow all the safety protocols accordingly. This is a situation that needs all of us to comply in assisting our government’s efforts of fighting this pandemic.”

The Athletics Association nevertheless stated that they have other activities lined up until December 2020. “We should however note that everything might change any time depending on the health situation in the country and the world at large. Therefore let us try by all means to prepare our athletes and ourselves so that we do not despair because of these challenges,” BAA noted.

National team coach Kebonyemodisa ‘Dose’ Mosimanyane said the cancellation of the races is going to affect their programs. “We were already at what we call pre-competition stage,” he said. “At that stage athletes train at high speed as they will now be preparing for competitions; now with the cancellation it means that they are going to be mentally and physically disrupted.”

He said the cancellation of races might also lead to athletes sustaining injuries as their training programs are going to be adjusted time and time again.

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