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Branch gets 7th TDR win

Isaac Pheko

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The 1000 Toyota Desert Race (TDR) has become one of the most obvious sporting events to predict. If you are a betting man or woman, then you will definitely go with the Gineil De Villiers in the production car category and when it comes to two-wheeler bikes it will definitely be Ross Branch.

Local rider Ross Branch cemented his legend in Jwaneng this past weekend when he   won the Desert Race for the seventh time. Ross crossed the start finish line soon after the dominant Toyota Gazoo Racing Hilux piloted by De Villiers. Branch arrived to jubilant cheers and pomp as he popped a wheel to celebrate his 7th TDR victory.

Throughout the years Branch has been a perfect example of man and machine working in perfect harmony as he dominated the TDR. “It was a very long race and it was extremely hard because of the cars that made routes yesterday. The bike was well set up but this morning I had a close call with a car driven by one of the spectators. It was fun I had a lot of time in the saddle today which is good preparation for the 2019 Dakar Rally,” Branch said.

“This is a step in the right direction and look forward to Dakar.” In a post-race interview, Branch said he has competed the Desert Race in his home town Jwaneng and he is now   hoping to achieve a good result at the Dakar scheduled for Peru in South America. The KTM rider said   preparations for the Dakar are underway and he intended to do a lot of riding in the sandy terrain of Jwaneng, which   gives him an advantage. “I want to spend a lot of time in the bike because I know the area and the sand is good for practice.

I have been working hard this year, the gaps between competing riders are small these days because my rivals are improving so I have to be   focused on the race and ensure I don’t get lost and watch out for different obstacles,” he said.

“I have now won seven times in the Desert Race including three wins in Jwaneng.”Despite having a close call with a vehicle driven by   spectators, Branch said local fans   are fantastic and he has seen spectators along the full 500 kms in the race. You see friends from Jwaneng and back home in Gaborone. “When I am a bit down and tired, they are screaming my name it’s a real motivator.” Branch said the spectators did not come on the track and they are well behaved.

“Even after Dakar I will continue to race the TDR, I will never stop racing here as long as I have a contract with Comfort his part the KTM race team mechanic Kevin Tyrer said there is a lot to the Desert Race and Branch is a home town boy. “For the KTM team the race was extremely   smooth, we had a few issues but it was an easy race   for us.

The motivation on the team comes from winning and beating other manufacturers. Regarding the Dakar Tyrer said the race is what people dream of and the cost factor   of competing there is extravagant to have the Dakar on your mind means you should be extremely committed. “Last year you had Vincent Crosbie who went there and he did well.”

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Ghetto awaits Mascom top 8 duel

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It’s that time of the year again when local football supporters embark on an annual pilgrimage to the Francistown Sports Complex where two deserving teams will take centre stage during the Mascom Top 8 Final. Both Gaborone United (GU)and Jwaneng Galaxy return to the finals, the former looking to win an astounding third title while Galaxy will be in search of their second title in three years.

Despite GU or the Money Machine as it is known sitting on position 7th on the BTC Premiership Table, they are tipped as the favourites to win this prestigious trophy. With a wealth of experience in the team and their big match temperament, GU can go all the way and write the history books by being the first club to win three Mascom Top 8 titles.

Gaborone United gaffer Philemon Makhwengwe will have to be up to his best, saturated with smart tactics and soothing combinations of play, with industrious players like Jerome Ramatlhakwana, Dirang Moloi, Gaopatwe Seosenyeng, Thatayaone Kgamanyane and Goitseone Phoko guarding the sticks. Makhwengwe is likely to pack his rich midfield with the likes of Rentse Keakabetse, captain Alphonse Modisaotsile, Obonywe Maome and Gaopatwe Seosenyeng to kill the mobility of Jwaneng Galaxy and limit spaces behind the defense.

Dirang Moloi and Thatayone Kgamayane are expected to play behind Jerome Ramatlhakwane as supporting strikers as Makhwengwe will also enjoy adding for power in his attack, the two players are expected to put through Ramatlhakwana, whose goal scoring prowess is second to none. On the other hand, Jwaneng Galaxy is a club enjoying a very good run of form, the Jwaneng based outfits are currently challenging for BTC Premiership honors and the Mascom Top 8 title; as things stand they will not be a walk in the park.

Miguel Da Costa will carry his troops to battle on Saturday night and will definitely bring his finest mind to the game, his unsurpassed tactics will also boil down in the technical area, the coach has proven to be an all-out attacker with a cautious mindset so expectation are he will have Lebogang Ditsele guarding and working closely to the four men defense while the pondering captain Olebogeng Malebye is unleashed for attacking and defending duties.

Galaxy will depend on Gilbert Baruti and Thero Setsile to unlock the GU defensive line with skill and pace on the flanks, should the two not be up to task Gift Moyo can always come on to rescue the day. Patrick Kaunda will have to be on his toes holding the ball for the oncoming attackers and fending off defenders every moment.

Tebogo Sembowa remains to be a lucky charm in the tournament having played four finals and winning them all, Galaxy will count him as their lucky charm as the player looks to add his fifth Mascom Top 8 medal this weekend. One player that Galaxy will pin their hopes on is the lanky short stopper, Ezikiel Morake who has enjoyed his game in this tournament.

Morake is capable of winning the game for his side, with his admirable reflexes and his ability to make key long ball passes to his strikers. Morake can also be vital when his defense is caught napping, the goal minder is a one on one specialist who knows how to spread his body when facing a striker.

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BOMAID sponsors Gaborone Marathon

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Local medical aid company, BOMAID has sponsored the 2019 Gaborone Marathon to the tune of P200 000. The international Marathon that includes the 42 km main race, the 21km and 10km races is scheduled for 12 May starting at the Grand Palm.

Through the Gaborone Marathon sponsorship, BOMAID hopes to encourage a healthy lifestyle and contribute towards the health sector and add value to the economy.

The sponsorship was unveiled in Gaborone this past week. Some of the reasons put forward for sponsoring the DGM include giving back to the community and aiding disadvantaged groups.
BOMAID aims to achieve this through the DGM’s charity work. The medical aid company further aims to create a healthy lifestyle among Batswana.

Speaking during the sponsorship announcement, BOMAID Chief Executive Officer, Moraki Mokgosana said the company is tasked with ensuring wellness and good health for members, ensuring that they live a healthy life.

“Over and above encouraging exercise as a form of wellness, we also have screening and prevention benefits to help curb the rise of non-communicable disease,” he said.

For her part, BOMAID Sales and Marketing Manager, Beilah Mapitse said, “funding of the marathon is a means of accessing a wide range of the organisation’s target audience, both members and potential clients.

This also positions BOMAID as a caring healthcare provider and allows us as business owners to relate directly to our stakeholders.”

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