Former Botswana 400m queen Amantle ‘Amiredo’ Montsho who is reeling from the Commonwealth Games dizziness where she is alleged to have used a banned substance, methlyhexaneamine, has now put everything behind her and is mapping the way forward, sources have informedWeekendSport.
Ever since the Glasgow episode Montsho has never known the verdict, but it appears she is facing an untimely and sad retirement, looking at the dilly-dallying displayed by the Botswana Athletics Association (BAA).
The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) court has since released its verdict by nullifying her result and banning her from future ‘’Çlub” games pending final judgement from the local association. The local tribunal will upon releasing the verdict send it to the International Athletics Association Federation (IAAF) for assessment because issues of conflict of interest might come into play.
Information gathered from impeccable sources suggests that the golden girl is not expecting the BAA’s final word to turn her fortunes around, but rather to add salt to the wound that is starting to heal.
’’Truth be told, she is not expecting much from BAA verdict, she can foretell how things will transpire and she is of the view that her fate could have long been decided instead of putting her future in limbo for so long,’’ a source said in Gaborone this week.
However, BAA promised during their ordinary general meeting last month that they would soon release the judgement.
The Maun-born sensation is now likely to take the scholarship that she was offered by the Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC) during her hey-day. When she was blossoming some years back, BNSC promised her that they would offer her a scholarship of her choice upon retires as a way of thanking her for meritorious work for her country.
Those close to her have hinted that it is one of the projects high on her agenda.
‘’Of course she is contemplating that scholarship,’’ added a source.
It is said that the University of Botswana (UB) is her first choice institution where she is likely to do sports-related courses, most probably physical education, because of her love to sport.
Montsho, who after rising to stardom left this country and lived most of her life in Dakar, Senegal, is expected to stay home pushing her social life.
After her Glasgow catastrophe there were some media reports that her father wanted his daughter to deliver her first born and who knows maybe she is also contemplating fulfilling the old man’s wish.
Weekendsport understands that should the dark cloud befall on her head, BNSC is likely to rope her into sports development, especially in grassroots programmes, using the same model they are using by involving former athletes in developing future stars.
For example, boxing, through Khumiso Ikgopoleng, is now reaping fruits of using former athletes in the sports development.
‘’She is very passionate about grassroots development and she likes to be hands-on, this is a chance she can’t miss, but the issue is they haven’t formally approached her to tender their bid,’’ the source said.
Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) CEO Tuelo Serufho confirmed this on Wednesday when he said, ‘’Montsho has a place in the local sport either as an administrator or its development agent.’’
However, this remains to be seen because many countries, among others Senegal, are said to be waiting for the verdict and should Montsho become unsuccessful they are likely to bid for her services.
When President Lt Gen Ian Khama delivered the State-of-the-Nation Address (SoNA) early this month there was much controversy when he congratulated all the current on former athletes – Nigel Amos and Isaac Makwala – but never mentioned Montsho (despite all the good work she did for the country) nor at least give her a word of encouragement at this depressing time in her career.
But it is said the President’s ‘over-sight’ never bothered Montsho. ‘’She is a mature athlete; she understands this situations better and it didn’t bother her although she looked a bit down.”
Montsho has since the Glasgow episode been in hibernation and efforts to understand her plans for the future first-hand have been fruitless as her mobile phone rang unanswered.
At a time when she met this ugly situation she was battling for her second Commonwealth Games medal after making history in the London 2012 Olympic Games where she became the first Motswana to notch a gold medal.
With the judgement yet to be released BAA has also kept the Glasgow Report a closely guarded secret.
Gaborone United was this week crowned 2021/2022 Botswana Premier League (BPL) champions following their 1-0 win over the holders, Jwaneng Galaxy. Thero Setsile’s 13th minute’s goal was enough to seal the league championship, ending 13 years of drought from the Old Naledi outfit.
With two games to go before the top-flight season wraps up, Gaborone United opened a seven points gap to second placed Township Rollers having accumulated 63 points from twenty eight games. The Money machine were the first team to open a new chapter in the history books of Botswana football, when they were crowned the inaugural 2008/09 be Mobile Premiership champions, that came up with P1 million as prize money. Thereafter the club has been on the league drought as it could only manage winning Coca Cola FA Cup in 2012, Mascom top 8 twice in 2013 and 2015. They also won the Orange FA cup last season.
The return of Zackhem as the club financier signaled a new era with a number of galactic signings for the 2021/2022 season. The team brought into their fold big names in local football; Kekaetswe Moloi, Lesego Galenamotlhale and Joel Mogorosi. The arrival of enterprising left wing back Mothusi Johnson, dribbling wizard Mpho Kgaswane and hard tackling midfielder, Lebogang Ditsele made the job easier for the coaches.
Attacker Onkabetse Makgantai also joined the marauding attackers in Thatayaone Kgamanyane and Thero Setsile to make their front line combination the deadliest in the league. Both Kgamanyane and Setsile have netted 34 goals this season with the goal minder Goitseone Phoko keeping 20 clean sheets thus far while conceding just 10 goals. GU is still on the Orange FA Cup race and football commentators believe that they are the favorites looking at the quality of their squad.
As it stands should the Money Machine win all their remaining games, they stand a chance to equal the highest championship winning points record of 76 points which set by Mochudi Center chiefs during the 2007-2008 football season. That record stood for 14 years and Gaborone United could equal that feat should they win their remaining games against Sua Flamingos and struggling Notwane. The Money Machine made the bold statement begging of the 2021/2020 football season when they won 11 games straight games without even conceding a goal.
The Reds, who are under the guidance of Innocent Morapedi, a seasoned coach and his assistant Pontsho Moloi, has been consistent in the title race. In the process, the Old Naledi side has scored 59 goals while conceding the least goals (10 goals) and has a superior goal difference of 49 goals. Gaborone United success breaks Township Rollers and Mochudi Center Chiefs dominance as the only teams to have won the league title more than any other club in the last 13 seasons. GU’s proximity to money and talent were key this season.
Domestically since GU last won the league title, Mochudi Center Chiefs have won it three times; whilst the most decorated football club with 16 titles, Rollers has been dominating the league, winning five titles on the spin in five seasons from 2013-14 to 2018-19. Last season, Jwaneng Galaxy was crowned champions for the very first time due to being at the top of the table when the novel coronavirus pandemic forced the season to be prematurely halted with ten games to play.
After two years of no action across various sports codes including softball, Botswana Softball Association (BSA) is going back to the grounds to resuscitate the sport.
This weekend all roads lead to Selibe Phikwe for the top eight ladies championship. The eight ladies teams comprise the top four ladies teams from the south and north regions. They will then come together and form eight teams and battle it out this weekend at the Phikwe Softball Grounds and Area 2 Mowana Ball Park. The competing ladies teams are Titans, Police, Vikings, UB Giants, Rail giants, Scramblers, Carats and Ghetto Yankees. The champions will be crowned thereafter.
Softball Association Public relations officer, Boingotlo Marope explained that this tournament is not only for ladies, she said men’s championship will be held at Gaborone on the 28th May 2022. She said they have noticed that everything is confined to Gaborone as their headquarters in the southern region. As a result they have decided to take other activities to the northern region as well. “We are trying to grow softball, we don’t want everything to surround Gaborone only which is why the ladies tournament will be held at Selebi Phikwe in the northern region to bring equality.”
However, she explained that the reason they were missing in action is because of Covid 19. “We saw government cautionary trying to protect everyone by putting certain restrictions as spots had to stop for 12 months, we welcomed 12 months to protect Batswana. As a results that lead to the closure as there were no games”.
In addition Marope said they currently don’t have sponsors however private sector has always come through. Bofinet has to cut the sponsorship but that is not due to Covid 19 crisis. “Bofinet has showed commitment, they promised that as soon as they are settled they will come to our door knocking again,” she added.
Marope further said as a results they rely on their tight budget. Few of players has been sponsored, some has to dig from their own pockets, some parents cannot sent their children as some had to quit. “We have worked with our tight budget to assist teams and hoping that in the coming season we can have somebody to assist”.
The Botswana national boxing team recently returned from the zone 4 championship held in Mozambique. The team was led by head coach Thebe Setlalekgosi, two assistant coaches, Gibson Rauwe and Pearl Mooketsi. Two referees and judges, Gaseitsewe Ponatshego and Linda Mooketsi.
In the women’s category, Lethabo Modukanele was representing Botswana in the 48 kg division, while Phekie Bele and Sadie Kenosi were competing in the 57 kg and 60 kg categories, respectively. In the men’s category, Kobamelo Molatlhegi was representing the country in the 52 kg division, while Rajab Mahomed was competing in the under 51 kg category.George Molwantwa was competing for under 57 kg category and Treasure Moremi was competing for under 60kg category.
The boxers came home with seven medals, Modukanele came home with a gold medal, Kenosi, Rajab, Molatlhegi all came home with silver medals. While Moremi, Molwantwa and Phekie Bele all came home with bronze medals.
According to Moitshepi Nkabiti, the public relations officer of the Botswana Boxing Association, the team performed well and that they were hoping that Rajab would also bring home a gold medal. However, due to an eye injury, he could not participate in the finals.
He stated that, “though some people might think that how our team performed is not an achievement it is a big achievement to us. Other countries came with 19 boxers while we only came with our seven boxers, and they all came back with medals. That is something that we have to be proud of I really commend them for their performance. Having 5 players making it to the finals is really a blessing and we should not take it for granted.”
According to Nkabiti, Botswana was ranked fourth in the zone 4 championship, which was held in Mozambique. Other countries that participated in the tournament included South Africa, Zambia, Eswatini, and Seychelles. They all had a total of 19 boxers. Lesotho also had eight boxers.