Gaborone — Algeria has postponed the African Senior Championships which were slated to held there due to the spread of COVID-19.
A press release from Algeria says the country is worried about the spread of new variants if the championships are staged.
Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) vice president, Oabona Theetso says the postponement is likely to affect local athlete’s preparations for the Tokyo Olympics in July.
The championships were initially supposed to be held last year, but were postponed to the beginning of June before another poseponement to the end of June this year still in Algeria.
Algeria says following the recommendations of a scientific monitoring committee on the evolution of COVID-19, they postponed the sporting event to a later date.
Theetso said they were banking on the competition and that it was going to afford some athletes an opportunity to prepare and qualify for the Olympics.
“It means we should now organise more competitions locally to give our athletes a chance to qualify.
We were looking forward to sending our athletes to the championships given that a number of them have qualified,” he said.
He also noted that they had a number of athletes who had qualified for Africa’s showpiece during the national championships they hosted recently.
Track and Field analyst, Lentswe Charles said the championships were going to help local athletes and their coaches before the Olympic Games.
He also said the competition was going to help upcoming athletes to build their confidence.
According to the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA), the postponement will handicap some African athletes who had not yet qualified for Tokyo 2020.
The athletes counted on the championships to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics which will be held from July.
Source : BOPA