- Targets top 10 finish
- As she chases Olympics qualification
Botswana’s top female cyclist Bakang Ebudilwe says she has stepped up her preparations for the African Continental MTB Championships in her aim to finish in the top ten at the competition.
The championships are scheduled for Windhoek, Namibia from the 12th to the 13th of April. Following strings of impressive performances over the recent years, Ebudilwe earned herself a slot in the Botswana National Olympic Committee’s (BNOC) Olympic Solidarity Fund which saw her relocate to Switzerland (World Cycling Centre Headquarters) last year to further her training. She was however this year forced to temporarily transfer to Cape Town (World Cycling Centre Africa) where she is currently gearing up for the Championships, her move was due to unsuitable weather conditions at Switzerland.
Quizzed on her progression at Cape Town, Ebudilwe stated she is going through intensive preparations which she believes will work to her advantage going into the Continental MTB Championships.
“Everything is going accordingly, training is very intense and I’m lucky to be training with one of South Africa’s best cyclists in Clint Hendricks who really pushes and encourages us to always give our all in training,” she said. “Considering my training, it is my hope that I will do well at the Continental MTB Championships and maybe finish in the top ten something which will be good for my individual and Botswana’s rankings at the same time ease my chances to qualify for the Olympics.”
The mountain biking Tokyo 2020 Olympics qualification standard stipulates that 38 spots per gender are allocated. Thirty places will be allocated through the UCI nation rankings and three through continental championships with one each for Africa, Americas, and Asia. One spot per gender has been reserved for host nation Japan. The remaining four spots will be awarded to the top mountain bikers competing at the 2019 UCI World Championships, with two each in the elite and under-23, respectively.
“I have to work hard and collect as many points as I can which I believe I will do as I have massive support from Botswana National Olympic Committee, Botswana Cycling Association and my club (Tsela Riders),” the cycling wunderkind stated. “It really is my dream to qualify.”
Arguably one of the best female cyclists to come out of Botswana, Ebudilwe will be competing in both the women elite cross country and marathon at the Continental MTB Championships. “But my focus will be in the cross country and if Botswana brings a team I will join them in relays,” she stated.