Team Botswana athletes and officials returning home from the just ended Africa Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 Games have been hit by COVID-19 cases after their brilliant run at the competition. Botswana sent a total of 239 delegation (174 athletes and 65 officials) to the games that were recently held in Maseru, Lesotho from the 3rd until 12th December 2021.
Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC), through the acting Chief Executive Officer Bobby Gaseitsiwe, has reported that the team had a total of 45 COVID-19 cases, 27 athletes, eight officials and 11 cases were reported upon the first batch arrival on the 11th of December.
“First batch of 88 athletes and officials arrived on the 11th of December and were immediately tested for COVID-19 .10 members tested positive and seven are currently quarantined at Oasis Motel. Three athletes were released to be with their parents for isolation and those who tested negative were released by the District Health Management Team (DHMT),” he said.
Gaseitsiwe further stated 35 members who tested for COVID-19 that are still in Lesotho will arrive home today (Wednesday 15th December) alongside the medical team that was also left in Maseru. The second contingent arrived home on Monday, and they went through the PCR test before they were released. “The situation is under control, and we are hopeful that everyone will recuperate as soon as possible. The team did very well, and we are proud of them more so that we sent a small team which we want to groom and nurture for upcoming games at a bigger stage because continuity is key in development and we strive to produce and develop world class athletes and teams,” he added.
Meanwhile Team Botswana won a total of 64 medals (24 gold, 21 silver and 19 bronze) in various sport codes such as Volleyball, Athletics, Tennis, Football, Judo, Boxing and Taekwondo amongst others. Botswana also finished 2nd behind South Africa who scooped a total of 75 medals and the hosts Lesotho on third with 52 medals. The Botswana athletics team’s performance contributed massively to the overall performance of the entire Team Botswana by winning 30 medals from various track and field events (16 gold, 7 Silver and 7 bronze). Collen Kebinatshipi was the star of the games after clocking 47.21 in 400m and earned a World Athletics Under 20 championships slated for Columbia 2022.
Botswana Volleyball boys won a gold medal after defeating Zimbabwe 3-0 in the finals with Prince Baboloki Silwane winning the Most Valuable Player and best setter awards where as Keabetswe Lopang won the best receiver. The girls team settled for silver after they lost 3-2 to Lesotho after their head coach and two players were excluded from the team owing to COVID-19 complications.
The girls dominated the individual awards bringing home six individual awards through Jacqueline Sivaye (best server), Karabo Mohambano (best setter), Queen Matlhare (Best Blocker) and Laone Tumelo who won best receiver and defender awards. The Botswana Tennis team also displayed a beautiful performance from Tshegofatso Tsiang who won gold in the girl’s singles, another gold in the mixed doubles through Mark Nawa and Chelsea Changanyuka and a silver from the girl’s doubles through Tshegofatso Tsiang and Leungo Monnayo. Judo, Taekwondo and football also won medals in their respective categories.
The next games will be hosted in Lilongwe, Malawi in 2022 after Lesotho played exceptional hosts to this year’s edition.