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Work on Jamali grounds ahead of Games

The MidweekSun Admin

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The organisers of the Region 5 Youth games Gaborone 2018 are pacing behind time to ensure that construction at the Jamali grounds situated in Tlokweng are completed by the end of today (Wednesday).

The Jamali grounds have been picked for the competition’s football games that will kick start on Thursday. However during the media tour of the competition venues this week, Sun Sports realised that construction was still ongoing at Jamali grounds. The men found on site were busy working on the stands and the field of play was also uneven, “We are working under pressure because we hear these grounds might be used during the games, however we are not sure if we will manage to pull it off by end of this week,” said one of the men spotted working on the stands.

The man, dressed in green overalls, sweat dripping over his chin under the extreme scorching heat, said that it takes about two weeks to erect shades for each section of the stand and so far only three stands had shade. The entire stand on the western side was completely bare. The games Local Organising Committee chairperson Labbeus Peloewetse would later explain that the owner of the grounds insisted that there will be no shade on that particular area. Peloewetse said they have been busy at work and assured that all will be well before the games start. “I want to point out that the rolling out of the venues look and feel is still ongoing but I can assure you that it will be completed by Wednesday,” he said.

Peloewetse handed over the nine competition and twelve training venues that will be used during the youth games to AUSC Region 5 Chief Executive Officer, Stanley Mutoya. For his part, Mutoya noted that he was impressed by what Botswana has done preparing for the games.

He said he has no doubt that the country will deliver exceptionally well, saying the country has satisfied all the requirements ahead of the games. On the unfinished Jamali grounds, Mutoya noted that all that was left was to level the playing field saying they particularly prefer Jamali ground rather than the artificial turf in Lekidi (Botswana Football Association) for health reasons. “We even had COSAFA technical experts here and they have given green light that the facility can be used,” Mutoya said.

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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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