Kabelo Kgosiemang

Athlete Profile

    Botswana Botswana
    07 JAN 1986
Kabelo Kgosiemang of Botswana clears the bar in the men's high jump qualification (Getty Images)

Personal Best - Outdoor

Performance Wind Place Date
High Jump 2.34 Addis Ababa 04 MAY 2008

Personal Best - Indoor

Performance Wind Place Date
High Jump 2.28 Doha (Aspire Dome) 14 MAR 2010
High Jump 2.28 Arnstadt (Sporthalle) 06 FEB 2010

Progression - Outdoor

High Jump

Performance Place Date
2017 2.20 Weinheim 27 MAY
2016 2.25 Polokwane 30 APR
2015 2.25 Brazzaville 17 SEP
2015 2.25 Bühl 28 JUN
2014 2.28 Marrakech (Le Grande Stade) 14 AUG
2014 2.28 Germiston 15 MAR
2013 2.29 Potchefstroom 06 MAR
2012 2.25 Porto Novo 01 JUL
2011 2.25 Bühl 29 JUL
2010 2.26 New Delhi 09 OCT
2010 2.26 Rabat 06 JUN
2010 2.26 Dakar 24 APR
2010 2.26 Réduit 10 APR
2009 2.30 Berlin (Olympiastadion) 19 AUG
2008 2.34 Addis Ababa 04 MAY
2007 2.29 Osaka (Nagai Stadium) 27 AUG
2006 2.30 Bambous 13 AUG
2005 2.16 Radés 04 SEP

Progression - Indoor

High Jump

Performance Place Date
2012 2.23 Val-de-Reuil 18 FEB
2011 2.21 Köln 26 JAN
2010 2.28 Doha (Aspire Dome) 14 MAR
2010 2.28 Arnstadt (Sporthalle) 06 FEB
2009 2.25 Wuppertal 13 FEB
2008 2.21 Köln 10 JAN
2007 2.25 Arnstadt (Sporthalle) 03 FEB
2007 2.25 Wuppertal 26 JAN
2006 2.15 Otterberg 11 FEB
2006 2.15 Leverkusen 05 FEB

Honours - High Jump

Rank Mark Wind Place Date
15th IAAF World Championships 16q1 2.22 Beijing (National Stadium) 28 AUG 2015
2nd IAAF Continental Cup 2014 8 2.18 Marrakech (Le Grande Stade) 13 SEP 2014
14th IAAF World Championships 10 2.25 Moskva (Luzhniki) 15 AUG 2013
13th IAAF World Championships in Athletics 11q2 2.21 Daegu (DS) 30 AUG 2011
1st IAAF/VTB Bank Continental Cup 2010 4 2.25 Split (Poljud Stadion) 04 SEP 2010
13th IAAF World Indoor Championships 6 2.28 Doha (Aspire Dome) 14 MAR 2010
12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics 13 2.18 Berlin (Olympiastadion) 21 AUG 2009
6th IAAF/VTB Bank World Athletics Final 8 2.18 Stuttgart (Gottlieb-Daimler Stadion) 13 SEP 2008
The XXIX Olympic Games 13q2 2.20 Beijing (National Stadium) 17 AUG 2008
11th IAAF World Championships in Athletics 9 2.26 Osaka (Nagai Stadium) 29 AUG 2007
10th IAAF World Cup in Athletics 4 2.20 Athína (Olympic Stadium) 16 SEP 2006

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Updated 28 August 2010

Kabelo KGOSIEMANG, Botswana (High Jump)

Born 7 January 1986, Rakhuna
1.88m / 71kg
Eldest of 4 children (3 boys, 1 girl)
Coach: Dr. Wolfgang Ritzdorf
Club:  LT DSHS Cologne

As a child, Kabelo Kgosiemang had eyes only for football. Born in Rakhuna, 110km from the capital, Gaborone, although he used to do athletics at school,  he did not show any interest in the sport until the 2003 season when he decided to try his luck at it. Attracted by the High Jump mat, he was soon spotted by the sports teacher, who could see the potential laurels for the school.

Coming into the Botswana school championships with a 1.95 best, Kgosiemang improved his mark to 2.05 to win the title and earn selection for his country in the Southern African Schools Championships. The little money he was given for this event increased his motivation to persevere in athletics but the federation insisted that he drop football. Kgosiemang then carried on with a victory at the Southern Africa Youth Championships, held in June in Lesotho, before clinching bronze at the African Junior Championships, in Cameroon, in August (1.95). 

In 2004, he added another international medal to his tally with a silver at the Southern African Junior Championships in Gaborone (2.00), though way behind the winner, Ramsay Carelse, of South Africa (2.20).

Kgosiemang started to attract international attention at the 2005 African Junior Championships in Tunis, where he added 6cm to his previous best to clinch gold in a closely fought contest against Egypt’s Karim Samir Lotfy. Both cleared 2.16, a Championship record.

All his early progression was achieved without a regular coach or technical guidance. Although Botswana benefited from a Cuban field coach, Pablo Diaz, who help to produce other leading high jumpers, Kabelo Mmono and Onnanye Ramohube, until his return to Cuba in the autumn of 2004, Kgosiemang could only join them occasionally for training camps. This was because of his school commitments and the distance from his town. Since the end of 2004, there had been no replacement for Diaz and local sports teachers were of little help other than to make sure that the young jumper was committed to training. 

Kgosiemang’s success in Tunis opened new horizons and he was offered an IAAF scholarship to train at the Accredited Training Centre of Cologne under Wolfgang Ritzdorf, who has coached past Olympic champions Ulrike Meyfarth and Heike Henkel, among others. His studies in electrical and mechanical engineering put on hold, Kgosiemang left for Germany in December 2005.

The benefits were quick to come: consistent at 2.15 during the indoor season, Kgosiemang made a massive breakthrough at a national meet in Diez on June 18, clearing 2.25 at his second attempt, improving his personal best by 9cm and Botswana’s national record by 5cm. His feat was followed by 2.23 four days later in Algiers, 2.28, in Viersen on 2 July and a 2.30 victory at the African Championships in August, which ranked him as the 25th best performer in the world in 2006. He ended his season with a 4th place (2.20) representing Africa at the World Cup in Athens.

In 2007, before the World Championships Kgosiemang jumped 5 times over 2.25: 2.28 in Garbsen on 20 May, 2.27 in Torino on 8 June and 2.27 for victory at the All Africa Games in Algiers, where he confirmed his favourite’s role despite jumping in difficult conditions. He had the crowd against him as home athletes Hammad and Benhedia finished 2nd and joint 3rd. At the World Championships in Osaka, he managed once more to up his level, clearing 2.29 for an historic qualification for the Final where he settled for 9th with a 2.26 clearance.
2008 had its ups and downs. After a thigh injury cut short his indoor season, preventing him from contesting the World Indoor Championships in March, Kgosiemang made a return to competition beyond expectations at the African Championships at altitude, in Addis Ababa, in May. After securing victory at 2.24, and despite a shorter run-up, he improved his national record to 2.30 on his second attempt, to 2.32 on his first, and to 2.34 on his third.

However, the jumper never was totally injury-free and his results were irregular after that. He jumped 2.24 four times before the Olympic Games, where he was stuck at 2.20 to finish 29th in the qualifying rounds. Just two weeks later however, he cleared 2.29 in Lausanne, his second best result of the year.

After he set an indoor national record with 2.25 in Wuppetal (13 February), a 2.27 clearance in Liege on 15 July was Kgosiemang’s only result over 2.25 in the 2009 outdoor season, which didn’t seem to make him a contender at the Berlin World Championships. His left ankle heavily strapped, he managed to jump pain-free in the qualifying round and cleared 2.30, making his way to the final. But on August 21st a torrential downpour in Berlin forced the jumpers back to the call room during warm-up. The delay as well as the cold and slippery conditions prevailing after the return to track proved fatal for Kgosiemang’s ambition to improve upon his 9th place from Osaka. His ankle was too fragile for that kind of conditions and he wasn’t able to clear 2.23, finishing 13th with 2.18.

Setting the disappointments of 2009 aside, Kgosiemang gradually got back to shape during the 2010 indoor season, tying his national indoor record (2.25) in Dresden on 29 January before improving it to 2.28 in Arnstadt the following week-end. To cap his best winter season so far, he finished 6th of the World Indoor championships in Doha thanks to another 2.28m effort.

Less than a month later, Kgosiemang was back on track for the early African season. Keeping on the same pace, he cleared 2.26m twice in Mauritius and Dakar in April, and again in Rabat in early June and 2.25m in Bühl on 18 June. But since Rabat, the jumper felt his legs tired, a likely consequence of too short a break between the indoor and outdoor season. A visit to the doctor confirmed his muscles were sore and needed some rest. He only resumed serious training mid-July and didn’t join Botswana’s early training camp in Nairobi to keep benefitting from the best training conditions in his race to fitness.  2 jumps at 2.10m and 2.19m were enough for Kgosiemang to claim his third African title in a row and a second selection in team “Africa” for the World Cup.  2.25m turned out of reach on that day but were not needed as nobody else could get higher than 2.15m.

Since the African Championships, the jumper from Botswana has decided to forfeit the meet circuit go give more time for his body to recover and be in top shape for the Continental Cup in Split and the Commonwealth Games in October in New Delhi, India.

Personal Best
2.34A (2008)

Yearly Progression
2003 – 2.10; 2004 – 2.10; 2005 – 2.16; 2006 – 2.30; 2007 – 2.29; 2008 – 2.34A; 2009 – 2.30; 2010 – 2.28i/2.26

Career Highlights
2003        3rd    African Junior Championships     (1.95)
2005        1st      African Junior Championships    (2.16)
2006        4th      World Cup                           (2.20)
2006        1st     African Championships         (2.30)
2007         1st     All Africa Games             (2.27)
2007        9th     World Championships        (2.29)
2008        1st    African Championships         (2.34A)
2009        13th     World Championships        (2.18)
2010        6th    World Indoor Championships    (2.28)
2010        1st    African Championships        (2.19A)

Prepared by Carole Fuchs for the IAAF ‘Focus on Athletes’ project. ©  IAAF 2007-2010

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