It all looks dark and blurry for freestyle swimmer, Naomi Ruele after the Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) yesterday announced that her standard ‘B’ time in the 50 metre freestyle does not automatically qualify her for a place in Rio.
“Naomi Ruele did not automatically qualify since she did not make it into the FINA quota place of automatic entries following the qualification closing date of 3 July,” Chef De Mission Mr. Moses Moruisi said. Moruisi however said all is not lost as she only missed the automatic qualification but could still make it into the final team, which is yet to be announced. “The team will be officially announced on 23rd of July at the National Stadium by Minister of Youth Sports and Culture, Honorable Thapelo Olopeng.”
Ruele, the freestyle specialist, is expected to be the first swimmer from Botswana to qualify for the Olympics if indeed she makes it to the team. Failure to make it will mean only athletics managed to qualify for the Olympics after Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) which has always been the Olympic hope for the country, dramatically dashed their chances.
So far, only 8 athletes met the qualification standards for Rio namely: Nigel Amos (800m), Boitumelo Masilo, Isaac Makwala (200m and 400m), Onkabetse Nkobolo (400m), Baboloki Thebe (200m and 400m), Karabo Sibanda (400m), Christine Botlogetswe (400m-women) and Lydia Jele (400m women), all from athletics. The sending off ceremony is on the 25th July at GICC, where His Excellency the President of Botswana, Lt. Gen. Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama will be officiating.