- Intends to send a team of 15 athletes or more
- Preparations already in place
Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tuelo Serufho says preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics are already in place as Botswana intends to bring home a total of four medals at the games.
After Nijel Amos secured a 800 metres silver medal during the 2012 London Olympics, the country’s first ever podium honours at the global sporting showpiece many thought Botswana would repeat the same feat during the 2016 Rio Olympic Games but that was not to be. However, according to Serufho they have learnt their lesson and Botswana’s 2012 achievement will be bettered in the next year games billed for Tokyo, Japan.
“The preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics begun immediately after the Rio games, our plan is to send a team of 15 or more to the games and in return bring home a total of four medals,” Serufho highlighted. He went on to state that they have a pool of athletes they have been preparing for the games through the Olympic Solidarity (OS) funding where the athlete’s accommodation, food and training are taken care of.
“As it is our hope that they will qualify for the games with ease, we are not focusing on them only as we also have those that we have been aiding even though they are not getting much help as compared to that of the OS funding,” Serufho noted. “The government will assist us with money this year to prepare for the African and World beach Games which has some Olympic Games codes in their program so by extension we will be enhancing our preparations for the Olympic Games.”
He said they also have a robust system on which they monitor the athletes’ performances and trainings to ensure that they attain their vision of sending a team of 15 or more athletes to the games, “more especially those in the OS funding, I mean we receive reports on a regular basis from their coaches which enlightens us on their health, performance and progression in training.”
The Tokyo 2020 Olympics will see an addition of five new sporting codes to the games but according to Serufho, BNOC will only pay attention to the ladies softball and karate. “We have been aiding Botswana Softball Association particularly the ladies team with money through the OS team support grant, some of trainings and competitions they have been attending were through that grant,” he said.
Serufho noted that they have been giving karate limited help as no karateka made the OS funding cut, “but fortunately two karatekas have already qualified for World beach games and it is hope that many qualified for the African beach games as that would enable us to assist them qualify for the Olympics.”