Foreign runners continue dominance in Phikwe Marathon

Portia Mlilo
WINNERS: Saina and Sehohle

Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) President Moses Bantsi has urged local coaches to join forces with his association and facilitate training for local long distance runners so they can be more competitive in international events.

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Bantsi expressed his concerns in an interview with Voice Online following a lackluster performance by local runners in today’s Orange Phikwe National Marathon that was won by foreign athletes.

South Africa’s Folavio Sehohle won the men’s category while Sheilah Saina from Kenya took first position in the women’s category of the 42.2km marathon.

“We don’t see our Rapula Diphoko or Ndabili Bashingili who at one stage represented us at the World Championships. As part of building the economy of the Selibe Phikwe region, we need to build our athletes so that they reach the ultimatum in their careers,” Bantsi said.

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A jubilant Sehohle said this season he devised a tactical strategy to win the BTC marathon in Francistown last April and he was happy that his plan worked as he finished first, clocking an impressive 2:18:50.

Sehohle says the BTC victory was a great achievement as running that time in high altitude is not an easy task.

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“Phikwe Marathon is a build up to another competitive marathon in which I will be participating in October where I intend to qualify for the Olympics. It was a good race and my opponents gave me the much needed preparation,” said Sehohle

For her part, Saina who was disqualified last year after getting lost along the way could hide her excitement.

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She said she was happy that the organisers this year shared the route online and that the signage was clearly visible.

The Orange Phikwe National Marathon this year attracted runners South Africa, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Namibia.

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The winners for the main race walked away with P25 000 cash.

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