Van Niekerk, Semenya for GIM

04th October 2017
Caster Semenya Source:DAILY MAIL

South African superstar sprinter Wayde Van Niekerk and middle-distance heroine Caster Semenya may be on their way to local shores. The 2018 Gaborone International Meet (GIM) Local Organising Committee (LOC) is currently hatching a plan to bring the high profile duo to compete before local track and field supporters. Preparations for the eagerly anticipated 2018 GIM are well underway.

According to the event organiser Glody Dube, the ambitious LOC is going all out to bring a world-class track and field event to Gaborone. Dube was speaking to Sun Sport recently in an interview. “Semenya has already shown interest and our negotiations are at an advanced stage, Van Niekerk on the other hand is yet to respond, we are in talks with his manager,” said an optimistic Dube. According to Dube, the aim is to dazzle local track and field supporters with star power and the aura surrounding the two world champions who recently conquered the IAAF World championships in London.

“Batswana admire these athletes when watching them on television but have never had the opportunity to actually see them live during a track and field event,” he said. Hosting famous athletes like Van Nerikek and Semenya comes at a huge cost including travel expenses and appearance fees. However they LOL are currently running without a title sponsor. “We cannot solely run the event with amateurs, we need to popularise the event as much as possible or else we will lack mileage,” he said.

Quizzed on the how far they were with securing a sponsors progress on securing a title sponsor, Dube said, “We are moving in the right direction and some companies have shown interest in partnering with us.” Nevertheless, he expressed delight over interest from South African SuperSport Television Channel who has shown interest in broadcasting the event live.The former 800m runner and Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) administrator said they also expect the participation of star athletes including 800m runner Nijel Amos, 400m sprinter Isaac Makwala, 400m ladies side of Amantle Montsho and Lydia Jele. During the GIM LOC planning workshop held recently in Gaborone, Keenese Katisenge serving as head of Sales and Marketing said they want to fill up the stadium, “We are targeting 20 000 spectators.” Katisenge said they needed to close all the gaps in order to organise an entertaining show.

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