Nagging injuries haunt Thebe

14th February 2018
FULL POTENTIAL: Thebe is work in progress Source:The Midweek Sun/ BOTSANG MOITOI

Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) national team coach Mogomotsi Otsetswe this week said sensational sprinter Babuluki Thebe will now concentrate in 400m races only. In a recent interview Otsetswe said as the 2018 Australia Commonwealth games fast approaches, Thebe has to stay focused in his main category. The young athlete will no longer be competing in 100m or 200m events for the remaining BAA track and field events. Thus far, Mogomotsi said he was impressed by the athlete performance since the beginning of the season.

Thebe just recovered from recurring injuries that have been threatening his running career and Otsetswe said they have to be cautious with him in training. Thebe’s performance this past weekend at the BAA super night track and field event held in Lobatse might have also contributed to the coach’s decision fearing unexpected injuries. In his 400m run at Lobatse, Thebe came in third after Karabo Sibanda and Onkabetse Nkobolo. The athlete appeared to have picked yet another injury in the last 200m of the race, he struggled to reach the finishing point. However, he managed to push himself and recorded 46.20s. Thebe’s teammate Karabo Sibanda who was competing for the first time this season managed to clock an impressive 45.58s that saw him claim first position.

“I do not know what could be wrong because I have not spoken to him yet, but I saw that he was struggling towards the finishing point. We have to be careful with Thebe and I have advised him that every time he feels that he cannot run any further, he should pull back because we still need him,” Otsetswe said. Thebe described his visible thigh pain as a minor muscle strain and nothing serious.

The athletes brushed off the injury, adding that he would be fine in a few days and ready for the next race. The African 400m champion said he has to put in more effort during training, “ I had an early warm up and our race was the last one of the eight heats. I believe that is what triggered this pain,” Thebe said. Quizzed on whether he will be going back to sprint races anytime soon, Thebe explained that he uses the short races to improve his speed but he has to follow his coach’s instructions. The ambitious Maun native said he is aiming to finish in the top three at the upcoming Commonwealth games.

Other elite athletes who performed wonders on the day are former world champion Amantle Montsho who easily won the 400m women clocking 51.78s. “For me this was like a test, its good to begin the season with 51s, I am really impressed. If I can qualify for the IAAF Diamond league this season I will be really happy.” Montsho said shortly after her race. Loungo Matlhaku also was an unstoppable force in the 100m women, defeating Christine Botlogetswe with a time of 11.56s while Botlogetswe came second with a time of 11.81s.

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