Botswana Athletes in Rio Preparations

Gaborone: The preparations for Rio 2016 have started in earnest with athletes taking part in off-season training while others are preparing for upcoming qualification events. Onkabetse Nkobolo left yesterday for Spain where he has been based since last year to begin off-season training. He will be based at the Compriso Esfuerzo Trabajo Training Centre in Alicante Spain. He shall be competing in various meets starting in March 2016 as part of his Rio 2016 preparations.

The Judo duo of Gavin Mogopa and Thato Lebang have also departed for Japan where they will be participating in Training camps with the Japan Judo Federation until January 2016. They will compete in a world ranking event (International Judo Federation Grandslam in Tokyo in December) to gain points that will assist them in improving their rankings to qualify for Rio 2016. They are ranked 16th and 17th in Africa respectively in their weight categories.

In January, they will then go to Tunisia until April 2016, where they will train with the Tunisia Judo Federation in high level camps with the best Judokas in Africa. They will then compete in the Africa Olympic qualification event as well as the Africa Senior Championships (both in Tunisia in April) to attempt to qualify for Rio 2016.

So far the 4x4 relay team, Nijel Amos (800m), Isaack Makwala (400m) and Onkabetse Nkobolo (400m) have qualified for Rio 2016 Games. Nijel Amos is currently in Potchefstroom, South Africa for training while Makwala is in Gaborone continuing training with his coach Justice Dipeba.

BNOC is hopeful the preparations will go well and that the athletes will stay focused until the Games.