GABORONE, May 17 (Xinhua) — Botswanan Isaac Makwala has qualified for the men’s 200m and 400m events of the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Makwala beat the qualification times at the Botswana National Athletics Championships in Gaborone that ended on Sunday.
Last month, the reigning Commonwealth Games 400m champion powered the country’s 4x400m relay team to a bronze medal at the World Relays in Poland, where the team also confirmed their qualification for the Olympics. However, he had not yet qualified for any individual event.
It did not take him long to qualify for the 400m when he won the semifinal with a time of 44.66 seconds on Saturday, beating the qualification time of 44.90s. He also sealed his 200m qualification with a win in the 200m final on Sunday in 20.17s.
Makwala became Botswana’s eighth athlete to qualify for the Olympics.
Athletes are trying to improve their times with very few events left before the deadline for Olympic qualification on June 29.
Sports in Botswana have been suspended since the beginning of the year due to COVID-19, but a waiver was given for the weekend event.
Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) vice president Oabona Theetso hoped that more athletes will qualify before the deadline with another event scheduled for South Africa in two weeks.