Botswana’s 400m track runner, Baboloki Thebe is back in the country following a short stint in Ivory Coast where he was training to get his fitness and form back prior to the highly anticipated world events. The controversial runner left the country last year November to begin his season preparations under the tutelage of the prominent coach and trainer, Anthony Koffi who previously had a fall out with the athlete.
Thebe returned home in February, and he has never competed in any of the local track and field series events that serve as qualifiers for the Africa Championships, World Championships and Commonwealth Games slated for May and July this year. Information reaching this publication is that the athlete was sent back home by his coach who felt that he can’t work with him anymore.
“The boy is back in the country, and he was not in a good state when he arrived, and I understand that he had a misunderstanding with his coach. His coach has been patient with him for the longest time and gave him lots of chances. The coach has even reported this to his mother association, Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) and they are aware of all these reports,” said a source close to the athlete.
Thebe was part of the relay team which won a bronze medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics last year following their exceptional performance which even earned them houses as part of incentives from the government. He had a promising career since he was discovered at the 2014 Africa Youth Games and continued to do good in most world events in 400m. He is a former two time African 400m champion and he won silver at the 2018 Commonwealth Games held in Australia.
BAA vice president administration Oabona Theetso told Gazette Sport that they are aware that Thebe is back in the country, and he is yet to compete in the local competitions.
“He is in town and we don’t know his plans yet, he has been away in Ivory Coast for some months and he went there on his personal capacity and I cant comment much on his trip because we don’t know much about it”. He said.
Gazette Sport’s efforts to reach coach Koffi and Thebe for further explanation went futile as they didn’t respond to questions sent to them. Thebe is expected to compete at the Gaborone International Meet (GIM) slated for Gaborone, Botswana next month if he is to qualify for the upcoming world events. This publication will still afford Thebe an opportunity to tell his side of the story and respond to the unconfirmed reports mentioned above.