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Coach upbeat ahead of Zambia clash

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FIGHT CHANCE…The national football team is in action Source:The Midweek Sun

Botswana national  women’s  football team has experienced a see-saw start at the ongoing Confederation of University and Colleges Sports Association (CUCSA) games.

The local women lost their first game 3-0 against South Africa on Monday, but that did not discourage their quest for a healthier position. On Tuesday local team dusted itself off the next day to claim a 1-0 victory against a well-decorated Zimbabwe side at Lekidi Football grounds.

Although their position will be determined by the results between South Africa and Zimbabwe, the girls have to be ready for battle in their next game against Zambia tomorrow (Thursday).

After their hard-earned 1-0 victory against Zimbabwe, the girls will enter another fray against Zambia where they will bring all the arrows in the quiver, Assistant Coach Malete said in a recent interview.

“We have to take every game as it comes but we need to give this one against Zambia special attention. We need to improve our position from the last tournament.” Malete is of the view that his girls are combatants who don’t waiver to pressure and they can carry the ball. He believes they will come down on their opponents like a ton of bricks.

“We showed character during our game against Zimbabwe but I instructed them to keep building patiently, a goal will come our way,” he said, after they rescued three points at the end. However, Malete said the girls are psychologically and physically prepared for the pulsating game against Zambia.

“We will come with a better game plan as we did against Zimbabwe who we had a chance to see in action, we also saw Zambia so we know how to plan for them too,” the tactical coach said.  Botswana faces a wounded Zambia side who lost 4-0 to Zimbabwe, who also guise as a toothless dog considering their start to the tournament. Botswana vs Zambia will kick off at 1100 hrs at UB stadium on Thursday June 21.

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Local boxers ready for regional tourney

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CONFIDENT: Newly unveiled LOC is confident that the regional tourney will be a success

Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) this past Tuesday officially unveiled a Local Organising Committee (LOC) that has been tasked with preparing for the upcoming Zone 4 championships that are to be held in Botswana.

The team is headed by celebrated boxing legend France Mabiletsa and is expected to host more than seven countries that are expected to descend in Botswana in the next two weeks. Officiating at the event, Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) Vice Chairperson Tsoseletso Magang said that BoBA officials should refrain from interfering with the task given to the LOC. She noted that many sporting codes often give the LOC the responsibility of delivering an event only for the code members to bully themselves into the affairs of the LOC and disrupts the preparations.

Magang warned that there is little time left before the tournament, and with that, the LOC will need all the support to ensure they deliver a successful event. She noted that hosting the regional tournament gave Botswana an upper hand of fielding more athletes that will have an opportunity to qualify for the Africa Championships scheduled for later this year.

For his part, Mabiletsa noted that they have already hit the ground running and confident that the event will be a success. The competition will be hosted in Botho College and they are in talks with Ave Maria to accommodate athletes. “Life will be made much easier for athletes if they are accommodated at Ave Maria because it is closer to the competition venue,” he said.

He explained that the zone is made up of 12 countries of Lesotho, Angola, Malawi, South Africa and Zimbabwe among others. However as of this past Tuesday, only seven had confirmed participation and they expect to finalize the logistics by the end of the week.

Meanwhile, a formidable national boxing team of eight men captained by Mmusie Tswiiige (60kg) and three ladies led by Lethabo Modukanele (48kg) will represent the country at the regional tournament.

According to the Head coach Lechedzani ‘Master’ Luza, the team has been on camp for the past three weeks. In his opinion, the team is ready to compete. “Generally, they are not bad, we need to work on a few things such as power and speed on some boxers, the defence department is also not bad,” he said.

Luza noted that Botswana has always established herself as a powerhouse and there is no doubt that majority, if not all team Botswana members will win a medal during competition time. He explained that the competition was one of the many leading to Tokyo 2020 Olympics and will give local boxers an opportunity to qualify for the Olympics.

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Branch does it again

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Local motorcycle racing sensation Ross Branch has continued his stellar form after securing overall second position in the internationally renowned Merzouga Rally. The race came to a conclusion this past weekend and Branch has proven his mettle amongst some of the best rally motorcyclists in the world.

The podium finish is expected to take the Dakar Rally racer to even greater heights in the hugely competitive and expensive sport. It has been barely two months since the talented local rider emerged as a top class racer at the Dakar Rally where he finished 13 and walked away with the fastest rookie of the 10 000 km odyssey.

At Merzouga, things seemed a little better for the rider as the terrain offer sand and rock as opposed to the treacherous dunes in Dakar. Branch who was using a different navigation system in Morocco showed his pace after winning the fourth stage of the race last week Thursday.

Prior to his podium finish Branch said Merzouga was only his second rally and he was willing to learn from some of the top riders in the sport. The KTM 450cc rider said he was now setting his sights on other major races including the 2020 Dakar Rally that has been confirmed for Saudi Arabia.

Since returning from the Dakar, Ross has stayed busy and competed at the cross-country championship in Kwazulu Natal in South Africa, where he finished fourth. The local rider is expected to compete at the upcoming 1000 km Toyota Desert Race, an event he has won more than seven times.

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