BAA Disappointed it Failed to Qualify Female Athletes for the Olympics

  • Says a comprehensive analysis would be necessary to determine why women have not qualified for Paris ’24


Despite qualifying six athletes for individual events at the upcoming Paris Olympics, the Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) is not fully satisfied due to the absence of female athletes.

The athletics qualification period concluded on 30 June 2024, with the following male athletes securing their spots: Tebogo Letsile (100m, 200m, 400m), Bayapo Ndori (400m), Leungo Scotch (400m), Collen Kebinatshipi (400m), Tshepiso Masalela (800m), and Kethobogile Haingura (800m).

The men’s 4x400m relay team has also qualified. “We would have been prouder if we had qualified women,” said the Secretary General of BAA, Oabona Theetso, in a telephone interview.

Awaiting final list 

“But we are happy with those who have qualified. We really outdid ourselves as athletics, considering that we managed to qualify more athletes even though our preparations were not up to standard due to limited funds.

“It must be noted that we are still waiting for a final list from World Athletics as some of our athletes may qualify through rankings.”

Asked why no female athletes have qualified for the Olympics, Theetso answered that a comprehensive analysis would be necessary to provide an accurate answer.

However, he highlighted several factors contributing to the situation, among them limited competition among women athletes.

Fewer women athletes

“Compared to men, we have a limited number of good women athletes” he said. “That alone reduces competition among them. If you look at men, we have a pool of good athletes who give each other tough competition.”

Theetso identified disparity in opportunities available to male and female athletes as another reason. “Most of our male athletes are contracted to major brands like Nike, which means they can easily train and compete outside the country,” he pointed out.

“If you look at the list of those who qualified, most of them are contracted athletes. Even though some of the females are under scholarships with the Botswana National Sports Commission and the Botswana National Olympic Committee, it is not as diverse as those who are contracted.


But as I said, we need to conduct some research to determine why we are failing to qualify female athletes for international competitions as of late.”

The nation recently applauded the men’s 4x100m relay team for recording a time of 38.19s in the heats at the Africa Senior Athletics Championships in Cameroon, which initially qualified them for the Olympics.

However, there are reports that World Athletics may disqualify the times due to electronic timing issues. Addressing this, Theetso stated: “We are still waiting for the final list from World Athletics to see if the men’s 4x100m time is ratified.”

Paris and Tahiti

The Paris 2024 Olympics, officially the Games of the XXXIII Olympiad, is an upcoming international multi-sport event scheduled to take place from 26 July 26 (the date of the opening ceremony) to 11 August 2024 in France.

Paris is the main host city, with events held in 16 other cities across Metropolitan France and one subsite in Tahiti, an island within the French overseas country and overseas collectivity of French Polynesia.

Botswana’s qualification of six male athletes for individual events and the men’s 4x400m relay team is a commendable achievement, especially given the financial and logistical challenges faced by the athletes and the BAA.

Theetso’s comments underscore the need for further support and resources to foster a more competitive environment for both male and female athletes in Botswana.