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Chess duo deserts Championships



NO SHOW: Phemelo Khetho

Two of Botswana Chess Federation (BCF) top players Fide Master (FM) Phemelo Khetho and Candidate Master (CM), Barileng Gaelafshwe abandoned participation at the 2018 Botswana International Open Chess championships held in Gaborone this past weekend.

The two national team players returned from the 43rd Chess Olympiad staged in Georgia Batumi early this month. Khetho emerged the biggest winner amongst the local team scoring 6.5 from the 10 games played. His ratings also increased by a staggering 48 Elos. As for Gaealafshwe, he managed to bring home four points from the nine games he played.

The weekend international tournament sponsored by Debswana Mining Company was the BCF national team’s first assignment since the Olympiad. However Khetho and Gaelafshwe pulled out during the tournament. “We are still waiting to hear their reasons as to why they decided to pull out,” BCF Secretary General Tingwane Mokwadi said this week.

However, when reached, both Khetho and Gaelafshwe confirmed that they were not fit to play on the day. “There were a lot of things happening to me that day and I resorted to pulling out,” Khetho said. Olympiad exhaustion maybe?

“Yes that and other things, just like in a race, when the body is not responding, an athlete cannot bring out desired results,” he said.As for Gaelafshwe, he noted that he was failing to concentrate on the game. “I was dealing with personal issues that made it hard for me to focus,” Gaealafshwe said.

Mokwadi shared that going into the tournament, chess queen Women International Master (WIM) Onkemetse Francis had excused herself. This meant that they were already a limping lot. BCF expected that all the other national team players would be present on the day to boost chances of winning the tournament.

He was confident that the team has the right energy levels from the just ended games in Batumi and all geared up to dethrone Zambia. Zambia has always been a pain in the neck, not easy to penetrate and dominating the tournament in the past years.

“They are some of our strong players and having them in the team would have increased our chances of winning more medals,” Mokwadi said.Meanwhile, International Master (IM) Providence Oatlhotse of Botswana won the prestige section while Women Candidate Master (WCM) Constance Mbatha of Zambia is the ladies section champion.

Botswana ‘s Innocent Bosane won the open section. The tournament defending champions Women Fide Master (WFM) Lorita Mwango and IM Daniel Jere from Zambia did not participate at the 2018 games.

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Zapata takes charge



TAKING CHARGE: Zapata assumes his position

Township Rollers Head Coach Rodolfo Zapata was this past Tuesday in charge of the team’s training session, a first since he was appointed Rollers coach in November 2018.

Sun Sports has been reliably informed by sources that were present at the morning session that the Argentine coach was at the grounds and it was all clear that he is now the man in control of the team.

Zapata was made to jump through hoops before he could finally take over the reins at Rollers. First he had to battle with his former club, Gaborone United to cancel his active working permit with the team. The matter dragged for more than a month.

When GU finally gave in, Zapata’s qualifications as a coach were questioned. This came as shocking given that Zapata is GU’s former coach. Nevertheless, a source within Botswana Football Association (BFA) circles has told this paper that Zapata was cleared by CAF last week. As things stand Zapata will be expected on the bench this coming Friday when they play Notwane. If not, then his first job will be the Mascom Top 8 Semi-final against GU next week.

The Rollers management could not be reached yesterday as their phones rang unanswered and repeated efforts revealed that the team spokesperson, Bafana Pheto is currently across borders.
Meanwhile, Zapata’s arrival comes at a crucial time following Rollers ‘s embarrassing defeat to the hands of rivals Jwaneng Galaxy this past weekend. Galaxy cut short the endless winning streak of the defending championships to serve them their second loss since the beginning of the league with a score line of 3-1.

Of late , unconfirmed reports suggest that players had grown impatient with the caretaker coach, Thabo Motang. They differed and questioned his decisions on the pitch. Motang is now reported to have gone back to the department he knows best, goalkeeper coach.

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Moluba wants a replica of previous success

Tshepo Kehemile



PLAY MAKER: Moalosi is a prolific goal scorer

Township Rollers influential midfielder, Edwin Moalosi confirmed his ambitions to help his team to repeat their run in the previous season to win both Botswana Telecommunication (BTC) Premiership league and the Mascom Top 8. Moluba as he is affectionately known said this after their 3-1 loss to Jwaneng Galaxy at the National Stadium this past Saturday.

Rollers 2018/19 BTC league campaign have been impressive thus far as they are still at the summit of the log despite their loss over the weekend. The Galaxy loss was their second, having lost to the other mining team, Orapa United. However, they have already reached the semi-finals of the Mascom Top 8.

Moalosi told Sun Sport that this season is not going to be a walk in the path, “It is not easy being the defending Champions as you become the team to beat, every team will try hard not to give you space to play or attack hence all the games we play become a mammoth task,” said Moalosi.

Moalosi further stated that being eliminated from the Confederations of African Football (CAF) Champions league early was a blessing in disguise, “We are now out of the CAF Champions league and we can now focus on doing well in the domestic league and cup tournament (Mascom Top 8).

In addition, we need to double our efforts as players so that we reach our ultimate goals,” he said.
Quizzed about his individual goals as a player despite picking so many injuries this season, he said, “Injuries are part of the game, it only depends on every player as to how you respond to it, I am always positive regardless of the circumstances I come across. I want to increase my goal tally and hopefully improve my assists as well,” explained.

However, Jwaneng Galaxy Captain, Olebogeng Malebye who scored a marvellous curler on the day said they are going to give Rollers a run for their money this season, “We are going to fight to death to try and leapfrog Rollers and eventually win the league as it has been our aim for a long time. And finally, we managed to beat them after a very long time trying with no success,” said Malebye.

Jwaneng Galaxy’s season is slowly improving as they are now second on the log, and Orapa United seems to be struggling a bit but the league is still open. Another round of BTC Premiership league matches is expected to continue this coming weekend with a couple of interesting fixtures to look out to including Township Rollers and Notwane FC on Friday at Molepolole and Security Systems and Mochudi Centre Chiefs on Saturday at the same venue, just to mention a few.

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