Team Mood High Ahead of World Relays

Coach Justice Dipeba says the mood is “electric” and everyone is focused on the all abiding ticket to Paris ’24




The spirit in Team Botswana’s camp is buoyant as the athletes gear up for World Relays where the hope of securing spots in the Paris Olympics is just as high pinned on.


Coach Justice Dipeba shared the upbeat atmosphere in a telephone interview about Botswana’s prospect at the critical meet that will take place in Nassau, Bahamas on 4 and 5 May.


“The mood here is electric,”  he said. “Our athletes are not only focused but are eagerly anticipating the competition. They recognise the importance of performing well, seeing it as their gateway to the Olympics.”


Baton exchange


Dipeba noted that the team has been preparing rigorously, fine-tuning their techniques and strengthening their cohesion, particularly in baton exchange as a critical element of relay success.


“We’ve spent considerable time on specific aspects of the relay such as baton handling and adherence to rules,” he explained. “It’s about precision under pressure.”


This year’s squad features a mix of seasoned competitors and promising newcomers, especially in the women’s team.


High-stakes competition


“Integrating young talent has been a strategic move aimed at building our future lineup while also bolstering our performance at this high-stakes competition,” said the coach.


Dipeba highlighted the significance of the event, not just as a competition but as a stepping stone to broader representation at the Olympics.


“Success here means more athletes qualify, which is crucial,” he emphasised. “We’re especially focused on increasing female participation, which is essential for the growth of sport.”


Top eight


With the Olympic qualifications on the line, the stakes are unmistakably high. Dipeba expressed confidence in the team’s preparation and mindset.


“Our goal for the first day is clear – finish in the top eight to secure a spot in the final rounds,” he said. “This is where the real battle lies, particularly for our men’s team, are drawn.”


The optimism within Team Botswana reflects a broader narrative of growth and ambition in African athletics where more nations are vying not just to compete but to dominate on the world stage.


Ticket to Paris


As the World Relays approach, the team is focused on the ultimate prize: the ticket to Paris.


Dipeba captured it thus: “We’re instilling in our athletes the belief that they have the talent to make it. It’s going to be challenging, but we are confident in their abilities and determination.”


Letsile Tebogo, Bayapo Ndori, Collen Kebinatshipi, Leungo Scotch, Zibane Ngozi, Anthony Pesela, Tumo Stagato Van Wyk, Boitumelo Masilo, Omphile Seribe, and Isaac Makwala are in the men’s contingent.


These athletes will vie for supremacy in the men’s 4x400m while some of them will also contribute to the mixed 4x400m relay.


893 athletes from 54 nations


On the women’s front, Botswana’s formidable lineup includes Lydia Jele, Obakeng Kamberuka, Galefele Moroko, Tlhomphang Basele, Christine Botlogetswe, Kennekae Batisani, Motlatsi Rante, Refilwe Murangi, Nancy Budzani, and Golekanye Chikani.


With their aspirations set on the women’s 4x400m relay and the mixed relay, these athletes are poised to make their mark on the global stage.


According to the World Athletics website, the World Relays will host a formidable gathering of 893 athletes from 54 nations.


Altogether 32 teams have been entered for the men’s 4x100m, 30 for the women’s 4x100m, 32 for the men’s 4x400m, 27 for the women’s 4x400m, and 30 for the mixed 4x400m.