Sends a team of seven athletes
The team that is representing Botswana at the ongoing World Universities Games in Napoli, Italy has been given a target of three medals, this is according to Botswana Tertiary Student Sports Association (BOTESSA) mouthpiece Duncan Segabo. The games begun on Monday and will come to an end on the 14th of this month.
Segabo told Gazette Sport in an interview that they expect the team to better Botswana’s performance at the games and ultimately bring home a total of three medals if they have failed. “ This is a strong team that is made of athletes like Gorata Gabankitse and Loungo Matlhaku who have been doing well in their races this year. We believe they will continue with their good form at the games and hopefully win us medals, other athletes are as well equally competent and that is why we gave the team a target of three medals,” he said.
BOTESSA has sent a team of seven athletes from athletics and the athletes include Thabiso Sekgopi (100m and 200m), Clifton Meshack (400m and 4x400m), Gabankitse (800m and 4x400m) and Omondi Lesedi (400m and 4×400). Matlhaku (100m and 200m), Xholani Talana (200m and 400m) as well Monaiwa Thapelo (long jump) also make the list. The latest athlete to win Botswana a medal at the games is Leaname Maotoanong with his 400m silver in 2015.
Meanwhile the BOTESSA spokesperson told this publication that their association is financially crippled something which made them to reduce their team and send athletics only to the games. “ We had intentions of sending other sporting codes like table tennis but this games are highly expensive and our coffers are currently dry, they were worsened by the fact that we hosted CUCSA games last year and they really drained us financially,” he said. “ But the preparations of our team were however not affected that much as the selected athletes used the available races in Botswana and internationally to get ready for the games.”
The international University Sports Federation (FISU) organize the World University Games every two years, the previous games were held in Taipei, Taiwan in 2017. The games consists of 10 compulsory sports with 13 compulsory disciplines and up to 3 optional sports chosen by the host country. The Universiade is widely recognised as the second largest multisport Games in the world after the Olympics and progressively has risen to World Class in scale and standard, with over 10,000 participants from over 150 countries.