Star athlete admitted to hospital with vomiting and dizziness
Widely regarded as the Goddess of long distance running in Botswana, Onneile Dintwe is likely to miss Saturday’s Gaborone City Mayor’s Marathon due to illness.
Having won the 21km race last year, Dintwe was set to run the full 42.2km marathon and was expected to challenge for the P50, 000 first place prize.
Sadly it seems this probably won’t happen after it emerged the popular runner was admitted at the Seventh Day Adventist Hospital in Kanye on Tuesday.
Dintwe was kept under observation in an emergency ward for almost five hours after suffering dizzy spells and vomiting.
Speaking to Voice Sport, the Kanye-native revealed that while she was being observed, the doctor ordered she be given an intravenous fluids treatment.
“I haven’t been feeling well since I came back from the Phikwe marathon but I had registered to try my luck. The prize money is tempting but my health comes first. I have also registered for the 10km Independence Marathon next weekend and if the body is responding well I will take part,” said Dintwe, adding that she was recovering but it was highly unlikely she would be fit in time for Saturday’s marathon.
As one of the star attractions, Dintwe’s absence will come as a blow to race organisers, especially considering her scintillating current form, which saw her emerge triumphant at the Orange Phikwe Marathon in August.
Nevertheless, the marathon is still expected to attract high calibre local and international athletes, under the three race categories: 42km, 10km and 5km fun run.
Indeed, Gaborone City Mayor, Kagiso Thutwe is expecting a big turnout for the event, saying, “The marathon continues to gain momentum as more sponsors are coming on board. We are expecting around 10, 000 participants and are ready to host participants and guests from other cities and towns.
“Participants are advised to come to the civic centre on Friday to get their race numbers to avoid confusion on the day of the event,” he said, his excitement evident in his big smile.
“The marathon will boost the economy of the city and both big and small businesses will benefit from this event,” he continued.
Thutwe quashed rumours that Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) had not endorsed the marathon and assured athletes that they have now came on board and would be assisting on technical aspects.
He explained that the BAA had voiced some concerns but that race organisers had managed to solve them.
Reiterating Thutwe’s comments, Athletics National Team Coach, Mogomotsi Otsetswe confirmed that the BAA would be present to assist during the event.
Otsetswe said the BAA would ensure that the marathon runs smoothly and in accordance with IAAF rules and regulations.
The mayor concluded by thanking the marathon’s gold sponsor Choppies Superstores as well as other sponsors, including: Mascom, Orange, HRDC, PPCB, JB Sport, Jack’s Gym, Duma FM, Echo Newspaper, Legola Enterprises and Bofinet, who will be providing free wifi at the stadium.