Botswana has failed to attain the target of 12 athletes qualifying for the London 2012 Olympic Games to be staged later this month.
According to local daily Mmegi on Wednesday, Negroes Kgosietsile, the chairperson of the Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC), admitted that up to July 1, the cut-off date set by BNOC for athletes to have qualified for the global sports showpiece, only five made the grade. Botswana initially set a target of 20 athletes and revised later to downward it to 12.
Kgosietsile defended the failure to achieve the target, saying that should not be viewed as a failure because it is not the number that matters. He asserted that what mattered was that the two medal target was still achievable.
He said it was unfortunate that they faced challenges in preparing the team and had that not been the case, they would have achieved their target.
“Twelve athletes did not qualify but we are content with the five who qualified.
“We are sure that we will be sending quality not just numbers,” BNOC chief executive officer, Tuelo Serufho added.
He said it was good that for the first time in the history the country was sending a 400m world champion, Amantle Montsho and the second fastest 800m man in Africa, Nigel Amos.
Other athletes that have qualified are Pako Seribe and Isaac Makwala both 400m runners and boxer Oteng Oteng.
BNOC is planning a motorcade for the five athletes before the send-off dinner on Friday.