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Kenyan athlete hails Phikwe Marathon

The winner of the 42.2km race of the Orange Phikwe National Marathon in the ladies category, Monica Jepkorir Mengich from Kenya has hailed the marathon as well organised.  She has however noted that the ladies category was not very competitive as after the 25km stretch she was alone without anyone threatening to go past her until she crossed the finish line.

“The race was well organised with adequate route markings and the water points were nicely spaced. The only problem was that the race was not very competitive as compared to other marathons across the world where I have participated. Here there was no one following me at close proximity after just 25km,” said the diminutive runner who crossed the line over ten seconds ahead of runner-up, Thabitha Tsatsa from Zimbabwe.

Mangich (34) clocked 2:55:33 in her first Phikwe Marathon race ahead of the 45 years old Tsatsa who clocked 2:55:52 to retain her position from the last two years where she trailed behind Botswana’s golden girl of long distance races, Onneile Dintwe who this time around was outcompeted and finished on position four.

Dintwe’s performance flopped again this year at Diacore Marathon where she failed to defend her championship, ending the race on the fourth position. Mantshapelo Badumetse who finished on position four last year improved her time to get position three with a time of 2:57:34, a minute and seven seconds ahead of Dintwe who clocked 2:58:41. Dintwe last year ran 2:51:48 to defend the championship she claimed in 2016.

In the men’s category of 42.2km, Nkosiyazi Sibanda from Zimbabwe defended his title to ensure that foreigners dominate Orange Phikwe National Marathon. He ran 2:21:24, with only two seconds time difference between him and the runner-up, Rapula Diphoko. Another foreign runner, Kirwa Korir clocked 2:21:54 to claim position three. Both Sibanda and Diphoko last year clocked better times as Sibanda finished first with 2:20:41 while Diphoko finished fourth with 2:21:10. This shows that this year’s race was a bit slower than the previous one.

Foreigners again dominated the 15km race with Sibusiso Nzima claiming the championship with 46 minutes and 55 seconds running time in the men’s category. Amantle Kekganetswe (47:26) and Sesebo Matlapeng (47:41) got position two and three respectively. Kekganetswe was a minute slower than last year notwithstanding finishing third while Matlapeng on the other hand did better last year in terms of recorded time although finishing sixth. He recorded 47:19, a better time than he did this year on position three.

In the ladies category, foreigners scooped the first two positions. Rudo Mhoderwa and Rutendo Nyahora ran 55 minutes and 34 seconds as well as 55 minutes and 46 seconds to take position one and two respectively. Kefilwe Galeitsiwe came third having ran 58 minutes and six seconds. None of last year’s runners made it to the podium finish.

The 10km race which is reserved for juniors aged between 12 and 19 years old, was won by last year’s runner-up, Gaodumele Amogelang (31:41) while Rantsho Thuso improved his record to move from last year’s position three to position two this year with 31:41 running time. Lopang Oontse took position three after running 33 minutes, 57 seconds.   

Lame Nare defended her title in the ladies category with a record time of 37:24, an improvement from last year’s 39:36. Oratile Rose Nowe moved up from position four last year with 41:45 to position two this year recording a better time of 37 minutes, 58 seconds. Laone Moloi recorded 38:36 to get bronze. The 10km race is the only one which saw an improvement of recorded running time in all top three positions.

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GU bills Rollers over player sale

29th September 2020
Thatayaone Ditlhokwe

The mega transfer of one Thatayaone Ditlhokwe from Township Rollers to South Africa’s SuperSport United has left Gaborone United (GU) desperate for the ‘purchase benefits’ and the latter has consistently phoned Rollers to pay back their share for supposedly grooming the player.

Ditlhokwe, a former GU defender, was sold to SuperSport at an estimated fee of P 2 million late last year. When the sale was negotiated, and it was agreed that GU will receive at least 15% of the sale, sources say.

This therefore means Rollers has to pay GU P 300 000.

According to reliable sources, Rollers is yet to process GU’s benefits because SuperSport United is taking long to complete the transfer fee. However, Jagdish Shah, the financer of Rollers, is said to be ready to pay GU’s dues as soon as the time is right.

In any case, it is said the two clubs are fighting a boardroom brawl. Regarded as the fiercest cross town rivals, GU was incensed to lose Ditlhokwe to Rollers in the first place. The underlying scuffle, to date, is catalysed by misplaced documents and trust that has grown seriously thin between the two clubs.

It is said that GU cannot find the contract between Rollers and SuperSport so as to officially bill their claim. Sources put it that GU had written twice to Rollers asking them to forward a copy of the said contract.

In the first instance, it is said that Rollers cooperated and did as GU requested. However, GU is said to have lost the contract and went back to Rollers for another copy. Rollers according to sources then refused to budge. There are claims that GU is now stuck in one place.

Rollers media liaison Phemperetlhe Pheto said it is difficult to talk about contracts to third parties. He however implored GU to avail the contract for them to claim their fees without doubts.

“I am disturbed to talk about contracts of players to media but bear in mind that we cannot act when GU is failing to submit what they have as a proof,” he said.

When Rollers tried to sign Argentinean born gaffer, Rudolph Zapata, three seasons ago, GU fought tooth and nail to block him from joining the ranks of their number one enemy. They delayed to release his work permits accusing him and Rollers of sinister motives.

To this date, GU is livid that Rollers nearly paralyzed their camp when they recruited striker Tumisang Orebonye, defender Jackson Lesole and the very same Ditlhokwe, to offer them lucrative contracts.

Just a year ago, the fight between the two clubs almost took a nasty turn. It started when GU wrote to the Botswana Football Association (BFA) questioning the coaching credentials of Rollers former coach, Frank Nuttall, together with his assistants, Leutwetse Tshireletso and Zachariah Mudzazi. Then, GU was seen to be shifting posts when consistently asked to rectify the situation involving their coach, Pontsho Moloi. It was found out that Moloi was not fit to coach in the elite level according to the requirements of club licensing.

But as things stand, GU will count on the words of Shah, whom many football administrators label as a ‘man of integrity.’

Ditlhokwe signed a three year deal with SuperSport last year. The 22-year-old helped Rollers to lift the Botswana Premier League trophy in the 2018/19 season and was rewarded with a national team call up.

The Botswana international played an important role for his side in the 2019 COSAFA Cup in South Africa as captain, Ditlhokwe also helped Zebras finish 2nd in the tournament losing to Zambia in the final.

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Molepolole stadium to be refurbished

29th September 2020

The Ministry of Youth Sport and Culture Development has agreed to refurbish the dilapidated Molepolole Sports Complex.

The development consequently means premier league teams and local clubs will not be able to utilise the facility in the upcoming season.

The stadium with a carrying capacity of 6 600, was earmarked by premier league rookies Masitaoka as home-ground.

The ministry has further revealed that the stadium will need a budget of about 5 million Pula to relay the turf and renovate a water drainage system that has worn out.  The contractors are expected to commence work in the not so distant future.

The pitch surface is artificial and was first installed in 2008 at FIFA’s request and the presidency of Philp Makgalemele.  In 2010, it was chosen as one of two host stadiums for the COSAFA Under-20 Challenge.

“We have funds to refurbish the Molepolole Stadium for two main projects; the relaying of turf and renovation of water reticulation system.  The stadium will therefore be out of   bounds   when   contracted   companies   begin   their works,” the Chairman of Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) confirmed.

The Ministry of sport is further expected to file a communication with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Housing Development notifying them to start a monitoring exercise when the renovations begin.

The reconstruction of this stadium and others is however feared to coincide with the long intention of the government to improve sport infrastructure throughout the country.

Earlier this year, the sport ministry has also requested a budget of about P 33 million to renovate and improve the VIP lounge of Francistown Sport Complex, now known as Obed Chilume stadium.

The President of Botswana, Mokgweetsi Eric Masisi, said the government continues to improve sporting infrastructure as part of the grassroots sport development programme. He said this in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) two years ago.

This financial year, P50 million was allocated for the construction of 10 community sport facilities or mini stadia, around the country.

“These will be basic sport facilities for youth recreation, and will consist of boundary wall, an artificial turf, soccer pitch and changing rooms with ablution facilities,” he said.

The facilities are earmarked for Tonota, Mmadinare, Bobonong, Tutume, Kasane, Goodhope, Kanye, Rakops, Tsabong and Moshupa.

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Moloi negotiates terms with Masitaoka

29th September 2020

Enterprising midfielder, Dirang Moloi, is in talks with premier league rookies Masitaoka Football Club about possibilities of joining as a free agent, having last played for troubled Extension Gunners last season.

Moloi, touted as the best midfielder of his generation, is said to be ready to hang his boots but not before playing for Masitaoka, the promising outfit whose administration is now the envy of other premier teams, especially the older ones.

However, it appears that there is a stumbling block as Moloi is requesting for conditions that are beyond the club’s reach. Moloi, with a substantial premier league experience, where player wages are not always guaranteed, wants to partner with the club through his side businesses to make profit.

Sources say Moloi does not desperately yearn for a monthly salary, but wants some benefits as the club makes money through other means.

Operating as a football company, Masitaoka has plenty of sponsors and it is why Moloi wants a share of the profits for each replica jersey the team sells. He also wants the club to partner with his security company to further rake in profits rather than waiting on a meagre salary that is not certain especially during turbulent periods of corona virus. This, according to sources may weigh heavily on Masitaoka’s situation that consequently will collapse the talks.

All the while, it is said Moloi will no longer be a first-choice selection but Neslon Olebile, the team’s head coach, hopes that his personality and experience will serve to inspire the rest of the attacking options, most notably the younger players.

Masitaoka have always sought to have leaders in their squad, players who have won big games and can bolster the collective belief. Their hunger to sign Galabgwe Moyana in the next season is rooted in part, by what he could bring away from the field.

Moloi, some reports say may join partly on probation and eventually sign to play as the season goes on, but not to inspire, as he once declared he is about to quit Botswana football.

The club sources however say that there is no option built into the deal for him to join them with non- football conditions.

Masitaoka are however desperate for Moloi’s services and will want him to bring calmness and stability to a side that has begun to dream big. The Molepolole base outfit is eyeing a spot in the finals of Orange FA Cup. Once football resumes, the club will play against Calendar Stars in the quarter finals.

Moloi has won a handful of trophies and medals during his salad days at Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Township Rollers.

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