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Athletics: Botswana Junior Sets Pace For Nigeria

–Runs 44.22 seconds fastest 400m time in the world
–AFN set to pick athletes for IAAF World Junior Champs

By Dare Esan:

Nineteen-year-old Botswana sprinter Baboloki Thebe reminded Nigerian junior athletes of what to expect in Poland come July at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Poland when he ran 44.22 seconds, the fastest 400m time by a junior this year and second fastest in the all-time list, at the National Stadium in Gaborone, Botswana last weekend.
The Athletic Federation of Nigeria says it is going to use the D.K. Olukoya Youth and Junior Championships which is scheduled to hold on Wednesday at the Sports Complex of the Yaba College of Technology, Lagos to pick Nigeria’s team to the IAAF World U-20 Championships which will hold from 19 July to 24 July in Bydgoszcz, Poland.
Athletics observers are worried about the sorry state of track and field in Nigeria and have been alarmed by the quality of results junior athletes elsewhere have been churning out since the start of the outdoor season.
Apart from Thebe who also has run a world leading altitude-aided 20.21 seconds in the 200m even, another Botswana athlete, Karabo Sibanda, also ran 45.40A at the same at the same championships on Saturday.
A South African, Clarence Munyai, ran an altitude-aided 20.36 seconds in the 200m last month while his compatriot, Retshidisitswe Mlenga (10.19A), is Africa’s fastest man in the 100m event so far this year.

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