- The events will kick off with a track and field competition in Francistown on 20 January
Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) has unveiled an ambitious calendar of events to provide ample opportunities for athletes to qualify for the prestigious Paris 2024 Olympic Games that are scheduled for 26 July to 11 August in the French capital.
According to the Vice President Administration of BAA, Oabona Theetso, the events will kick off with a track and field competition in Francistown on 20 January.
BAA has already achieved significant success in qualification of athletes, with five remarkable talents making the cut. These are Bayapo Ndori in the 400m, Letsile Tebogo in the 100m and the 200m events, Leungo Scotch in the 400m, Tshepiso Maselela in the 800m, and Collen Kebinatshipi in the 400m races.
Directives from BNOC
While the athletes await directives from the Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) regarding Olympic preparations, Theetso has emphasised that their focus extends beyond the Paris Games.
BAA is preparing for various international competitions, including the World Junior Championships and the African Games, reinforcing the importance of an early start to the season for athletes to perform at their best.
Theetso highlighted the need for timely information from BNOC, particularly regarding plans for training camps and other preparatory activities for the Olympics. But inspite of the uncertainty, BAA remains steadfast in its commitment to nurturing and honing the talents of Botswana’s athletes.
Paris plus 16 other cities
“This is not just about the Olympic Games,” Theetso said. “We have other international competitions lined up, among them the World Junior Championships and the African Games. It is crucial that we start the season early so our athletes can give their best performance.”
Meanwhile, the 2024 Olympics, officially the Games of the XXXIII Olympiad and commonly known as Paris 2024, is a forthcoming international multi-sport event scheduled to take place from 26 July to 11 August 2024 in France, with Paris as the main host city and 16 other cities spread across metropolitan France, plus one sub site in Tahiti – the largest island in French Polynesia.
Paris was awarded the Games at the 131st International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session in Lima, Peru on 13 September 2017. After multiple withdrawals that left only Paris and Los Angeles in contention, the IOC approved a process to award the 2024 and 2028 Summer Olympics to the two cities.
Sixth Olympiad for France
Having previously hosted in 1900 and 1924, Paris will become the second city (after London) to host the Olympics three times.
Marking the centenary of Paris 1924, these Olympic Games will be the sixth hosted by France (three in European summer and three in winter), and the first French Olympics since the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville.
Following Paris 2024, the Summer Games will return to the traditional four-year Olympiad cycle, as the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo was delayed by one year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.