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Botswana impresses at Africa Champs despite lack of preps

By this far team Botswana which is competing at the ongoing Africa Senior Championships has made a gallant statement despite having had limited resources to prepare for the continental showpiece. The team reported for the training camp on 2nd June and departed on June 6th.

The four days track and field event which is hosted by the Island of Mauritius, known for its white sandy beaches has attracted top African talent. The country is hosting the games for the third time following the 1996 and 2006 editions.

When the competition started this week (Wednesday), at least over 500 athletes from 40 nations confirmed their participation with Botswana having sent 32 athletes and they are expected to bring home some medals. Previously, 2020 Senior African championships were to be held in Algeria but were subsequently called off due to the novel corona virus.

The men’s squad was led by some of the country’s fastest athletes, including Letsile Tebogo who recently ran 9.96 in the 100m, which was initially deemed to be an Under-20 world record, before it was nullified last week subjected to gun tests. He came into the competition with a personal best of 9.96s, and he will only participate on the 200m race which is scheduled to take place today (Saturday) .

Furthermore, this year mens sprints will miss the presence of three-time African champion Isaac Makwala, who indicated that he shift focus on preparations for the World Championships and Commonwealth Games as he is nearing his retirement. During the opening day of the competitions, athletes who competed in both the men’s and women’s 400m earned themselves a spot in the semi-finals.

Under the women’s 400m category, Thompang Basele won her heat with a time of 54.66 with Christine Botlogetswe qualifying for the semis after clocking a time of 54.02. Lydia Jele who recently returned to track for the first time in four years following his ban qualified for the semis after recording a time of 53.40. She went on to become the female athlete to advance to the women’s 400m finals after coming 3rd in her heat with a time of 54.42. She ultimately went on and finished 6th position in the finals with a time of 53.58.

Under the 400m category, Olympic Silver medalist Leungo Scotch won his semi-final heat with a time of 46.66 with Zibane Ngozi coming third to register a time of 47.08, whereas Bayapo Ndori won his heat with a time of 46.68 to progress to the finals. On Thursday, Botswana registered its first medals which were delivered by the mixed relay team. The quartet that won first gold medal comprised of Collen Kebinatshipi, Motlatsi Ranthe, Keitumetse Maitseo and Christine Botlogetswe, after clocking a time 3.21.85.

Furthermore, Thalosang Tshireletso delivered the second gold medal for the country having leaped 7.82 m ultimately breaking 23 year old national record (NR). Ndori who is the Tokyo 2020 Silver medalist secured a podium finish settling for silver medal in the 400m with a time of 45.35 while fellow country man Scotch and Ngozi finished the race on the 5th and 7th position respectively with times of 46.14 ad 46.57.

Tshepo Masalela added the countrys medals tall to four under the 800m finals after finished on the third position with a time of 1:4.65. By the time when going to press, Botswanas medal accumulation stood at four, two gold, one silver and one bronze.

Meanwhile BAA Vice President Administration Oabona Theetso recently told local media that they were aiming to bring home at least eight medals. When quizzed further why targeting only eight medals, Theetso indicated that lack of funds hindered those preparations as the team had to report late for the training camp. He further revealed that the competition will also present the athletes a chance to qualifiers for the World Athletics Championships and also commonwealth games billed later this year.

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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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