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CYG team re-writes history in Samoa

The Botswana sporting greenhorns led by the 400m sensational runner Karabo Sibanda have silenced the doubters after managing to accumulate a historic three medals at the just ended Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa.

This year’s multi-sport event is the third competition Botswana competed in after taking part in 2008 Pune, India and 2011 Douglas, Isle of Man games.

However “team digital” as team Botswana is affectionately called has in the past clinched only two (bronze) medals consecutively. This year’s event saw the team re-writing history books, claiming three medals,two gold and one bronze.  

It was the lanky Goodhope senior school student Sibanda who got the first medal at the games after finishing first in the 400m final. This was a much needed motivation for the local charges more so that the medal was gold. This pushed other athletes like pugilist Rajab Mohamed Otukile to continue flying the blue black and white flag high as he clinched a bronze medal in boxing. 

The relay team also made up by the inspirational Sibanda, Thabiso Sekgopi, Kabo Mphali and Aobakwe Malau tapped on to the Sibanda magic as they also went for the gold. Prior to the games, the Botswana National Olympic Committee had openly maintained that they won’t give the team any targets because they didn’t want to put them under pressure but wanted them to get the necessary exposure.

The games have been used as a springboard to stardom by the young athletes with the likes of Leungo Matlhaku and Naomi Ruele as living testimony. Unfortunately, currently there are no local females as yet to take the baton from Ruele and Matlhaku.

The competition ended yesterday and the BNOC CEO Tuelo Serufho could not hide his excitement, “At this instance, we have not only increased our medal tally but we have also won gold for the first time and two of them for that matter, therefore I cannot help but be very happy at such a good performance.”  


Meanwhile the senior athletes are still sweating in Congo Brazzaville to reach the set 20 medals targets. Botswana has only managed to get six medals so far. Swimming sensation Naomi Ruele who is based in USA won silver in the 50m backstroke event; the other five medals were from karate with four bronze and silver.

One of the senior karatekas Thato “Twiggy” Malunga who targeted gold could only get a bronze in Kumite, the disappointed athlete said “I’m so disappointed about the bronze medal, I was targeting gold but things did not go according to plan but it will be fine.”

The competition is still on until next week and the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) Chair Solly Reikeletseng has warned the team to deliver the 20 medals target or face the music. Other codes like Athletics and boxing have not yet begun, in the 2011 games in Mozambique team Botswana got 16 medals from the set 20.

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It’s do or die for Zebras

28th March 2023

The senior national team, the Zebras, is currently in Equatorial Guinea to for an African Cup of Nations Qualifiers tie. Before they departed, the team’s coach, Mogomotsi Mpote, had his troops train in Morocco. This was through the agreement between the two countries.

The agreement between the BFA and the Fédération Moroccan Football Association states that the two nations will work together to organize friendly matches between their respective national teams. It also allows the establishment of football camps for the youth categories (U-15, U-17, and U-20), this includes women’s national teams.

The national team has played over 180 minutes in its two qualifying matches against Tunisia and Libya. Currently, the Zebras, Lesotho and Liberia are the only teams that haven’t scored yet in the competition (this is correct by press time on Friday).

Before the match against Equatorial Guinea match, the local boys who were once known as the whipping boys of Africa in the early 2000s, were languishing at the bottom of the log standings in group J. They lost their first match away to Libya on June 1, 2022. However, they managed to salvage a point against Tunisia last year.

Before the team left for Equatorial Guinea, coach Mpote urged his players to focus on keeping their hopes of making a return trip to the AFCON finals alive after an 11 year absence since the maiden appearance in 2012. He noted that they would not allow their opponents to score and would ensure that they would get a draw.

Despite the various changes that have occurred in the two countries’ football landscape, the two teams have only met once before. In 2010, the local boys defeated the Equatorial Guinea team in a friendly match, which ended in an emphatic win for the visitors. Since then, the two sides have realised different fortunes in FIFA rankings, with Equatorial Guinea ranked 51 places above the Zebras.

Meanwhile, in their last six games, Guinea has only managed to win one of them. They drew with Rwanda and Togo in September 2022 friendlies. They have found the back of the net just twice in their six games. On the other hand, the Zebras, won one match against Zambia and lost four on their way to finishing at the bottom of the group with four points. At the conclusion of their previous AFCON campaign, the local boys traveled to Zambia and secured a draw.


Despite the recent results of the Guinean team, which have only managed to draw with Rwanda and Togo in their last six matches, coach Mpote is still confident that his team will perform well against the hosts.

According to the head coach, the local boys have the necessary skills and resources to perform well against any country. He noted that the team’s coaches have been studying abroad to gain a deeper understanding of the various aspects of football.

“Tactically they should also be ready. We need your (Botswana fans) usual support, when we come back from Equatorial Guinea, we will go to Francistown, and we will need you. You are our 12th player, and you are very important to us.”


This week, the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) Tuelo Serufho revealed that the Obed Itani Chilume Stadium will host the return leg of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier between the local boys and Equatorial Guinea. The venue had initially failed an inspection test conducted by the Confederation of African Football (CAF). However, following the completion of the necessary works, the stadium was allowed to host the match.

According to BNSC Chief, Tuelo Serufho, the various requirements that the stadium must meet included having a designated parking area for the media and spectators, as well as having signage that will guide the spectators. He also noted that the venue now has a world-class media area.

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Jagdish Shah rejects Rollers society

27th March 2023

Township Rollers, one of the country’s most decorated football clubs with 15 premier league titles, is finding itself in a precarious situation as its long-term chief financier, Jagdish Shah, threatens to dump them if the society does not bow down to his demand of forfeiting their 20 percent interest in the company.

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Orange injects P350 000 into Phikwe marathon

21st March 2023

Mobile network Orange Botswana is committed to supporting the development of local sport. Through its sponsorship, the company will be able to promote and market the sport. According to Maano Masisi, the company believes that sport can unite people from different backgrounds.

He stated that through the sponsorship of the marathon, the company will help promote healthy lifestyles and unity among the people of Selebi Phikwe.

The Selebi Phikwe Marathon is scheduled to take place on July 29, 2023. It is expected that it will attract international, regional, and social runners. A total of P216 000 has been allocated for the prize money for the first ten places in the 42.2 km race. For the 15km and 10km races, the LOC will give away prizes to the first five places.

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