For their records, International Meets globally are known to pull great numbers of spectators as runners use this events to improve their rankings and chances of qualifying for the Continental, and International Championships and some eyeing the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
The National Stadium in Gaborone was no different from other International Meets as multitudes gathered to watch the highly competitive event despite our harsh local weather. One of the attendants, Phanisto, said “I am really happy this year that we Batswana have come in numbers to support this event” alluding to his previous attendance of the Gaborone International Meet since it begun and the improved numbers from the 2018 GIM. Phanisto also spoke of how he encourages Batswana to attend this events as they can somehow build and motivate children to participate in sports.
The Gaborone International Meet has this year brought experienced runners from all over Africa, from countries like Nigeria, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Eswatini, Lesotho, Kenya, Namibia, Malawi, and Zambia. The Meet has also featured races for people living with disability, to those with visual impairment which signifies growth of the event as the founder, Mr. Glody Dube has been saying is his goal.
Botswana’s athletic pride, Isaac “Badman” Makwala, Galefele Moroko, Baboloki Thebe, Boitumelo Masilo, Christine Botlogetswe, Gorata Gabankitse, Karabo Mothibi, Keene Motukisi, Kgalalelo Tlalenyane, Kabelo Kgosiemang, Leaname “Lux” Maotoanong, Leungo Scotch, Leungo Matlhaku, Onkabetse Nkobolo, Rapulana Dipholo, Tsaone Sebele were all scheduled to participate in the Gaborone International Meet and did so without disappointing.
The National Stadium also witnessed the legendary sprinter Yateya Kambepera make his return after years of long injury which kept him away from the track.