Road To Sporting Success: Kabelo Kgosiemang


In 2006, a  20 year high jumper from Botswana surprised many when he cleared the  2.30m mark to be named the African Champion.  He also became the first ever athlete from  Botswana to win  a gold medal in high jump at the Games.

The Rakhuna born athlete began his high jump career in 2003, the same year that he won  a gold medal (1.95m)  during the BISA Athletics National Finals. He  carried his impressive performance to the  2003 COSASSA Athletics Championships which were held in Lesotho as  he also settled for a gold medal before clinching bronze at the African Junior Championships, in Cameroon.

Kgosiemang nevertheless, introduced himself to the world of high jump in  2005 by winning a gold medal during  the African Junior Championships a performance  which earned him an IAAF scholarship to train at the Accredited Training Centre of Cologne in Germany  under the tutelage  Wolfgang Ritzdorf, who has coached past Olympic champions Ulrike Meyfarth. A year later, Kgosiemang cleared the 2.30m bar to win a gold medal for Botswana during the African Champions which were held in Bambous, Mauritius, he also set a National Record (NR) at time. His stellar performance in 2006 persisted when he finished fourth during the  IAAF World Cup which was staged in Athens, Greece.

In 2007,  Kgosiemang managed to win a gold medal at the  All Africa Games in Algiers, Algeria  after he jumped 2.27m before he went to take part  at  the IAAF World Championships  in Osaka,Japan. He managed  to clear  2.29m  for an historic qualification for the final where he finished  ninth  with a 2.26m clearance. A year later, Kgosiemang went on to be an African Champion for the second time in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on which he set a NR of 2.34m. He nevertheless failed to impress during the 2009 World Championships after finishing 13th overall.

Kgosiemang would bounce back strongly in 2010 when he became the African Champion for a third time in a row during the Championships which were held in Nairobi, Kenya before he went on to settle for a bronze during the Commonwealth Games in Dehli, India. The local prolific high jumper also won a gold at the 2012 African Championships which were held in Porto Novo, Benin and 2014 African Championships which were staged in Marrakech, Morocco. He represented Botswana at the Olympics twice in 2008 and 2012.  His recent pleasing continental performance was when he finished fourth at the African Games which were held in Rabat, Morocco clearing 2.10m.

Now aged 34, Kgosiemang is yet to retire from the sport and is vying to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.