Botswana eyes medal swoop at 2014 Commonwealth Games

GABORONE, July 14 (Xinhua) -- Botswana is targeting to bring home some medals and surpass the nation's past performances at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

Speaking before the team's departure to Scotland on Monday, Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) President Negroes Kgosietsile said they have assembled a very strong team capable of winning medals at the games.

He said they are hoping to raise the country's flag even higher than they did at the past games in 2010. Botswana has enjoyed little success at the previous games winning silver and bronze, but it was until 2010 when Amantle Montsho ran 50.10 seconds to clinch the country's first ever gold.

Never before in history have Botswana took a team with so many medal hopefuls than the current team.

Top of the hopes will be 2012 Olympic Games silver medalist Nijel Amos who will be competing in the 800m. Amos has been on a rich vein of form in the ongoing IAAF Diamond League where he is currently ranked first in the world. He ran the fastest time of 1:43:63 in 2014 at the opening race in Oregon, USA at the beginning of June.

With Olympic gold winner Kenyan David Rudisha still to rich top form this year, Amos said he will be hoping to improve on his performances at the Commonwealth Games and clinch gold. Another medal hopeful is 400m sprinter Isaac Makwala who also currently tops the IAAF league in his category.

The 26 year old recently made history as he ran 44.01s in the 400m at La Chaux de Fonds, France setting a new African record for the race. The time also placed him 3rd in the current world rankings this year.

Meanwhile Montsho who has been doing poorly in the diamond league this year would be hoping to redeem herself and defend her title in Glasgow. Also in line for a medal is Botswana's top ranking squash player Alister Walker who will be gunning for top honors as he becomes Botswana's first representative in squash at the games. He is currently ranked 6th in Commonwealth nations.

Botswana's 19-member team departed the country at midday on Monday for the July 23-August 3 games. Botswana will be represented in athletics, boxing, squash, badminton and table tennis.