Kgotla Alphius Ntona Kgaswane has once again made history by qualifying for Commonwealth games, under weightlifting category. Kgaswane’s coach, Alex Rankgwe confirmed in an interview with WeekendSport. Rankgwe pointed out that it is not the first time Kgaswane qualified for the Commonwealth games.
He said, “yes Kgotla qualified for the Commonwealth games, and it is not his first time qualifying. The first time he qualified for the Commonwealth was in 2018 when he was just 18 years old. I must admit that the journey was not easy this time around, because originally, we had 4 years gap to prepare but because of COVID-19 we only had a year. As a result, we had to move Kgotla from the 61kg category down to the 55kg category, so he seriously had to lose weight in a space of a month of which he did. We went to Mauritius on the 24 February until 2nd March 2022 where he qualified for the Commonwealth games. Kgotla did exceptionally well because he was in top 9 in the world under Commonwealth countries. He came with silver from Mauritius and was ranked position 9 and automatically qualified for the Commonwealth games.”
Rankgwe pointed out they have about 3 months before the Commonwealth games and admitted that they are feeling the pressure. He highlighted that his schedule and that of Kgotla have been hectic, he said being a teacher it has been hectic because of the introduction of shifts in classes. Rankgwe said the shift that was introduced when Covid-19 hit have put a strain in their training pattern. He also pointed out that with Kgotla now at tertiary school it has not been easy to find time to train as it were when he was still in senior school because of his schedule.
The coach highlighted that the other challenge is that they do not have enough equipment to train but are however utilizing every available equipment offered to them. He pointed out that Botswana Sports Council has allowed them to train at their facilities.
Rankgwe said he is really worried about not having enough female participating in weightlifting sport. He said they always have large group of females when they are still growing, but the moment they are admitted at tertiary school they drop the sport.
He said, “I would really love to have more female athletes in my team. I have one gal I am currently training, and I must say she is really promising. I know that some parents do not want their children to be part of weightlifting because they think they will be vulnerable to broken bones. I can assure them that 99% of injuries in our sports are not broken bones but rather dislocated bone or muscle pull but it is not always about broken bones. Weightlift is about building strength and flexibility of athletes more than anything else, it is not necessarily about athletes having big muscles.”
Kgaswane could not hide his excitement as he said he is more than ready for the Commonwealth games. He said though it was a rough journey he has been ready ever since he qualified for the games, “I am ready to make history. I got only one expectation and that is to push my body harder than before. I want to go beyond my limit so that by July I would be ready to fight for a podium finish and make history again.”
The 22-year-old revealed that losing weight was one of the hardest things he ever had to do. He said the plan was for him to lose 1.5kg a day to avoid injuries because their sport is prone to injuries, and they needed to be careful. Kgaswane highlighted that he lost about 11kg in a period of a month, “it was a tough transition, I had to cut a lot of cabs, had to reduce my water intake and the painful part was that I had to train four times a day. I had to train early in the morning, I had to go for a 6km run, then go for my morning training session. I would then rest until my afternoon training session, then wrap up my training with my 4km evening jog.”
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.
The first Mascom Charity Cup spectacular has come and gone. The football event played at Obed Itani Chilume Stadium saw four football clubs playing one-day tourney with various charity centres being beneficiaries of the gate takings.
While the attendance was not at the expected level, it is said that the sponsor has made a killing with close to P500 000 made from voting lines. Football followers were asked to vote for teams of their choice, and top four clubs were eligible to play. A single sms voting line cost P 1.50.
Gaborone United became the most voted team with 62 984 votes followed by Security Systems with 51 027. On the third spot was BDF XI with 48 596 votes while Orapa United came forth with 44 401. Shockingly, Township Rollers did not make it after gathering a total of 30 637 votes, with BR Highlanders ahead of them having seen 44 204 votes to their name.
It is said, however that, the initiative live to expectation as clubs together with the sponsor have managed to assist charities of their choices. Mascom is believed to be happy for identifying beneficiaries and getting value for their money.
The mobile network company is still the longest standing partners of local football, having first tasted waters in 2005. The company now powers the Top 8 competition and said to have renewed the dame sponsorship at a value not exceeding 18 million. The Mascom Charity Cup was not the first to be hosted by a mobile network company.
In 2018, Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) hosted a similar event in which followers had to vote. The four participating teams were Mochudi Center Chiefs, Gaborone United, Orapa United and Township Rollers. GU were the eventual winners.
It is however not clear if the tournament will continue in the next football calendar, but what goes down into the history books is that Teenage Mpote and Orapa United were the first to win it. In previous years, there have been an off season tournament whose aim was meant for charity purposes. The tourney was called Kabelano Charity Cup and was usually played by four big teams (Rollers, Notwane, GU and Chiefs) without taking the voting routes. It was last hosted in 2015 and had Barclays as the sponsors.
Yet another thrilling showdown is expected between the country’s hottest strikers, Thabang Sesinyi of Jwaneng Galaxy and Thataoyaone Kgamanyane of Gaborone United, as the duo are eyeing for the 2021/2022 Golden boot.
With only four Botswana Premier League (BPL) games left, the race for the honours is rolling towards a thrilling climax, but for two individuals there is a race for an accolade of their own taking place that could easily go down to the final minutes of the season. Leading the pack with 19 goals is Jwaneng Galaxy talisman, Sesinyi who is one goal apart from Kgamanyane who has netted 18 goals thus far.
Both players have their eye on the golden boot, hoping that their respective teams have fixtures to put them in with a realistic chance of catching up, or leaving the other behind. The Money Machine is currently at the summit of the BPL log with 61 points while the mining giant, Galaxy are trailing on the third place with 49 points, having played 24 games thus far.
Both teams (GU and Galaxy) are expected to face each other towards the end of the season, as the initial fixture was postponed due to Galaxy’s involvement in CAF championship group stages. With 19 goals chalked up for the season so far, Sesinyi is just one goal away from Kgamanyane who led the race for the better part of the campaign. Sesinyi who is on freakish scoring form has scored four goals in his last two games; a hat trick against Prisons XI and a goal against Sua Flamingoes in the midweek fixture.
But there is no doubt that Sesinyi is no longer playing to carry his team, Galaxy, as realistically there is a slim chance for them to clinch the 2021/2022 season, but he is eyeing the Golden Boot Award when the league falls off.
Kgamanyane has begun the season in tremendous form; scoring every time he is given a chance, while Sesinyi, on the other hand, reached the peak of his form in the second round of the season; scoring both in the domestic league and also on the CAF Champions’ league group stage. He featured on team of the week on February.
Furthermore, the Money Machine attacker showed some growth as his conversion rate has been on a rising graph in the games he has so far played. Although Kgamanyane’s goal scoring prowess has been there for everyone to see, the player has been hampered by injuries. It promises to be a fascinating battle between the duo.
Meanwhile, BPL this week announced that they will hold the 2021/2022 awards. The league has since added seven new categories to take the total number of categories to 16. Among some new categories are the Defender of the Season and Midfielder of the Season awards. There are also two more awards for the administrators, as the league has included Team Manager of the Season and the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Season awards.
The best performing players in this campaign will be included in the Premier League Best XI. Nevertheless, match day officials have also been recognised with the introduction of two more categories in the young Referee of the Season and the Female Referee of the Season. Furthermore, BFL CEO Solomon Ramochotlhwane indicated that the awards will be held on the 25 June 2022, just after the 2021-2022 season comes to an end.