Athletics fraternity welcomes new qualifying standards

BG Correspondent - Tshepo Kehimile
Tuesday, 15 January 2019
Athletics fraternity welcomes new qualifying standards

Former International 800m star Glody Dube believes that the alteration of the qualifying times for the 2019 IAAF World Championships which will be held in Doha, Qatar will not affect local athletes but rather give them a better chance of qualifying to these impending major events.

This year’s IAAF World Championships qualifying standards have been made slightly different from that of 2017 in London, England. Both marathon marks are faster-from 2:19:00 to 2:16:00 for the men’s event and from 2:45:00 to 2:37:00 for the women’s. As for short races; 100m- from 11:26 to 11:24 for the women and from 10:12 to 10:10 for the men’s event, in 200m- 23:10 to 23:02 for the women and from 20:44 to 20:40 for the men’s. Moreover, in 400m- from 52:10 to 51:80 for the women and from 45:50 to 45:30 for the men’s and 800m- from 2:01.00 to 2:00.60 for the women and from 1:45.90 to 1:45.80 just to mention a few.

Dube told BG Sport this week that, these sudden changes (times) will only act as a motivating tool for local athletes to perform well, “Our athletes are bound to perform to their utmost best as they will be influenced by the changed times. I expect massive performances from our local athletes. I do not see anything wrong with these changes thus are a welcoming development to our sport”.

On the other hand, one of the local prestigious marathon runner Rapula Diphoko said he only heard rumours about the new qualifying standards, “I just resumed training, trying to bring myself back to shape and I heard hearsays about these developments. I am yet to see them so that I can be able to appreciate them better as well. My ambition is to qualify for the World Championships regardless of the time changes, and I am going to work really hard to achieve my desired goals,” said Diphoko.

Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) President Thari Mooketsi said the qualifying standards for the World Championships are not bad, “The changes are not bad at all, and it will just depend on every individual (athletes) to pull up their socks and eventually qualify for the Championships. Furthermore, the World Championships are scheduled for September which provides us with ample time to prepare and do better, come the day,” said Mooketsi.

BAA President further said they (Association) are aiming high for this year’s IAAF World Championships, “In most cases for the national team, we always target for 14 to qualify but now we are aiming 20 because there are some few individuals that have emerged from the shadows. For instance, there is one from long jump and the others for relay (4x1) that we hope will add on to 14 to make it 20,” he said.The 2019 IAAF World Championships which are billed to be hosted in Doha, Qatar will take place in September 28th until the October 6th.

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