GABORONE, BOTSWANA — The acclaimed Gaborone International Meet (GIM), an annual international athletics competition in Gaborone, the brainchild of Sports View Runners Club affiliated to Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) has welcomed the new sport leadership and administration warmly.
The one-day track and field spectacular is expected to be held at the National Stadium on April 27. When briefing the media recently, The GIM exco led by former 800m sprinter, Glody Dude has thanked the former Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Thapelo Olopeng for his continued courage in sport and betterment of individual youth.
“Perhaps it is only in order for us to recognise the political changes in sport at higher levels. We note the departure of Honourable Thapelo Olopeng from our mother ministry to take up another responsibility as assigned by the state. We thank Olopeng for his long time stewardship of sports at political level and welcome Tshekedi Khama into our fold.
We appeal to all in the sporting fraternity to give Minister Khama all the support as was the case with Honourable Olopeng. In the same spirit, let us thank the outgoing BNSC chairman, Solly Reikeletseng for all what he has done for sport for the past eight or so years at the helm of our national sport and wish him the best of luck in his future pursuits. We welcome in anticipation whoever shall be appointed new BNSC Chairperson.”
The GIM LOC chair Naledi Dikgomo-Goulden said they make qualification from experience in the past year where they were forced to change along the way to accommodate a potential partner.
“As we have emphasised in the past, the competition provides a platform for both local and international athletes to either qualify or prepare for major international competitions such as the Olympics, world and continental championships. It is sanctioned and to some extent supported by the BAA, who provide IAAF certified implements and technical officials. It being sanctioned by the BAA, the competition has the blessing of both the International Athletics Associations Federation (IAAF) and the Confederation of Athletics Associations (CAA); both mother bodies of the sport of athletics in the world and in Africa,” said Dikgomo-Goulden.
The GIM enlists a number of specific track and field events. For 2018, the event attracted 296 local and international athletes from Botswana, Lesotho, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe in both male and female categories. The competition is in different categories, including categories for the Special Olympics athletes.
It has previously featured internationally acclaimed athletes such as Botswana’s Isaac Makwala (2017 400m Diamond League Champion and 2018 Commonwealth Gold medallist) and Amantle Montsho (2010 and 2018 400m Commonwealth Games Gold medallist, 2011 400m World Champion and 2011, 2012 and 2013 400m Diamond League Champion) as well as Zambia’s reigning 100m champion and record holder Sidney Siame.
The latter set a new 200m personal best and national record (20:26) at the GIM2018, Zambia’s Quincy Malekani set a new personal best of 52.04 in 400m (F), Botswana’s Christine Botlogetswe and Leungo Scotch set new personal bests in Women’s 200m (23:14) and Men’s (45:93) 400m respectively, while Kgalalelo Tlalanyane of Botswana set a new personal best of 14.59 in 100mH (F).
“The BAA continues to be our link with the general athletics community at both local and international levels. We continue to enjoy a stable relationship with the BAA through a protocol agreement entered into between them and Sports View Runners’ Club through which the two parties continue to be guided in dealing with one another.
Through the BAA we continue to enjoy a link with the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) and its regional structure, Southern Region CAA who continue to have the Gaborone International Meet in their calendars of activity and both of whom continue to see in us an opportunity for the BAA to beef up its activities and even expand its annual calendar of activities.”
The LOC also announced their team chaired by Naledi Dikgomo-Goulden, Tshepo Kelaotswe will head the Technical while Tshepang Othusitse is heads Operations. Keenese Neoyame Katisenge heads Marketing with Boitumelo Kenosi as a Marketing alternate. Calistus Kalontsho continues as head of the Publicity function. Dr. George Mokone an Exercise Scientist and lecturer at the University of Botswana will head the Medical and Sports science function. While Thabiso Mooketsi will heads our Security and Protocol function with Mpiwa Bosenogile continues is head of the Finance function.