Source: Republic of Botswana
18 July, 2007
ALGIERS - Botswana Endurance Association have lodged a formal complaint with the organisers of the 9th All Africa Games concerning unlawful awarding of team medals during the endurance horse riding competition.
The horse riding competition formed part of the All Africa Games currently taking place in Algiers, Algeria.
Sharon Du Plessis, who is the associations president as well as the teams manager, said in an interview that their ground of discontent emanated from the awarding of medals to both Libya and South Africa under dubious circumstances.
She pointed out that the organisers reneged on the rules that were set for the games. She said the agreement for a team to be awarded a medal should consist of four riders, adding that at least of the two riders had to successfully complete the event.
Although South Africa participated in the team, only one of their riders completed the riding.
One of their riders completed the race having been accommodated consistently by the officials of the event to the disposition of all other participating competitors, she said.
It also remains a mystery that Libya was awarded bronze medals having entered only one participant in the event.
Meanwhile, the local equestrian team did not do well as they had anticipated. Although it was the first time to feature in games, she was optimistic that they would do well but were done a blow when the organisers started employing underhand tactics.
She said their dismal performance was also compounded by the fact that they had to use the horses provided for by the organisers.
The horses we found here are not up to the expected standard and they could not finish the races.
Even though they had wished to bring their horses for the competition, she said it would have been expensive to do so.
Ferrying one horse from Botswana to Algeria would have cost us about P60 000, she said.BOPA
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