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Van Niekerk, Semenya for GIM

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South African superstar sprinter Wayde Van Niekerk and middle-distance heroine Caster Semenya may be on their way to local shores. The 2018 Gaborone International Meet (GIM) Local Organising Committee (LOC) is currently hatching a plan to bring the high profile duo to compete before local track and field supporters. Preparations for the eagerly anticipated 2018 GIM are well underway.

According to the event organiser Glody Dube, the ambitious LOC is going all out to bring a world-class track and field event to Gaborone. Dube was speaking to Sun Sport recently in an interview. “Semenya has already shown interest and our negotiations are at an advanced stage, Van Niekerk on the other hand is yet to respond, we are in talks with his manager,” said an optimistic Dube. According to Dube, the aim is to dazzle local track and field supporters with star power and the aura surrounding the two world champions who recently conquered the IAAF World championships in London.

“Batswana admire these athletes when watching them on television but have never had the opportunity to actually see them live during a track and field event,” he said. Hosting famous athletes like Van Nerikek and Semenya comes at a huge cost including travel expenses and appearance fees. However they LOL are currently running without a title sponsor. “We cannot solely run the event with amateurs, we need to popularise the event as much as possible or else we will lack mileage,” he said.

Quizzed on the how far they were with securing a sponsors progress on securing a title sponsor, Dube said, “We are moving in the right direction and some companies have shown interest in partnering with us.” Nevertheless, he expressed delight over interest from South African SuperSport Television Channel who has shown interest in broadcasting the event live.The former 800m runner and Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) administrator said they also expect the participation of star athletes including 800m runner Nijel Amos, 400m sprinter Isaac Makwala, 400m ladies side of Amantle Montsho and Lydia Jele. During the GIM LOC planning workshop held recently in Gaborone, Keenese Katisenge serving as head of Sales and Marketing said they want to fill up the stadium, “We are targeting 20 000 spectators.” Katisenge said they needed to close all the gaps in order to organise an entertaining show.

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Selibe Phikwe bowls club faces closure

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Selibe-Phikwe Bowls Club faces a possible collapse, Sun Sports has learnt. This follows the closure of the BCL mine back in 2016, which has seen the club struggle without the supply of electricity and water.

Speaking to this publication this week, the chairperson of Phikwe club Oabona Motladiile said that things have been stagnant since the mine closed doors. “Nothing is happening here, there is no action at all because when the mine closed, it meant there was no one to pay for the water and electricity bills,” Motladiile said.

Motlaadile explained that their grounds are situated at Area 2, a place that the mine paid all bills for, however it has since proved very hard for them to maintain the green that needs constant watering. He said they do not have any alternative facilities to use and have since informed the Phikwe council about their difficulties but still solutions have not been found.

The Phikwe Chairman at the time of going to press said he was not sure of the exact figures they needed on a monthly basis but around 20 000 litres of water and electricity not exceeding P 1 000. He lamented that the Phikwe club is one of the oldest clubs locally and at one point had about 30 members. However, numbers have been dropping because there is no action.

“We are a very competitive club of men and women who make it into the national team,” he said. John Gaborutwe who is the BBA Vice President said that the possible closure of Phikwe Bowls Club was one of the topical issues to be discussed during the BBA Annual General Meeting (AGM) this coming weekend. The affiliates will be expected to vote for a new Vice President, Treasurer and Director of Bowls as the term for the current office bearers expires.

The AGM will be followed by the start of the Rose Bowl tournament. The tournament is the 1st of the 5-series major tournaments for the 2019 season. The remaining tournaments will be held in Francistown, Orapa, Jwaneng and Phikwe respectively. Jwaneng club is the defending champions.

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BFA FIRES BRIGHT

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Allegations coming out of the Botswana Football Association (BFA) are that national football team head coach Major David Bright has been fired as of Tuesday this week. The illustrious veteran tactician took over from Englishman Peter James Butler more than a year ago.

At the helm of the Zebras, Bright struggled to bring home positive results and find winning combinations. Having failed to lead Zebras past the qualifying stages of the 2019 Afcon competition was the first sign of trouble for the veteran coach at Lekidi. Furthermore the experienced tactician was expected to improve Botswana’s position in the FIFA world rankings. The Zebras are currently in the lowly 145th position.

According to sources close to the matter, Bright was handed a termination letter and challenged to show cause why he should not be relieved of his duties at Lekidi. As one of the most decorated coaches in both Botswana and CAF region, Bright has coached numerous teams including South Africa’s Bay United, Gaborone United and Morupule Wonders.

Reached for comment on the matter the BFA president Maclean Letshwiti insisted that the former army man is still in charge of the senior national team. For his part Bright said he could not comment on the matter and referred Sun Sport to the BFA.

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