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Fencing in anti-climax year finale

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The troubled Botswana Amateur Fencing Society (BAFS) held its national championships in Gaborone this past weekend. The championships marked the end of the tumultuous 2017 calendar for the fairly new sport code. BAFS has had its fair share of controversy this year with a divided committee that spilled over to affect affiliates.

Nevertheless, the last BAFS event of the year dished out some entertaining duels. One of the most entertaining matches featured the 2014 Africa youth games athletes being Aobakwe Modise and Thabile Pilane. The two athletes met in at BAFS senior women finals. The senior women epee category was an entertaining student vs. Master duel were Aobakwe Modise against her apprentice Thabile Pilane.

The student versus teacher clash saw Modise emerge as winner against Pilane who is also her teammate. Modise who is among the three local fencing masters locally proved to be a level above her opponent. “I still want to play as opposed to coaching. I want to be an Olympian,” said the ambitious Modise. Pilane lost the match 16-15, though she defeated her master 5-3 during the pool stage.

“We always give each other competition. I am hoping to do well in the future,” explained the 2014 Africa Youth Games quarter finalist. Pilane is positive that she will soon become a master by beating her mentor. Boikobo Nkwe got a gold medal without competing due to shortage of competitors. “I was playing against boys, I think I did very well though I lost all games,” said Nkwe.

The 20 year old Tlokweng based athlete expressed disappointment over winning gold after failing to get an opponent. Chape confirmed that Boikobo walked through to the finals because she did not have opponents on the day. Meanwhile BAFS technical director Stan Chape said the tournament went well even though attendance was poor on the day.

Moreover Chape explained that internal politics at BAFS affected their calendar of events negatively as BNSC suspended their activities at one point. “We were placed on hold by BNSC for some time due to unforeseen circumstances, this is our second tournament this year,” explained the BAFS TD. Chape is however hopeful that they will have another tournament before the end of the year.

BAFS has about seven affiliated clubs, mostly academies and schools. Fencing has four age categories, which includes the Benjamins aged between 7-9 years, the Cadets aged 9-14 years, the 15-19 category is known as juniors and the seniors from 20-39 years old. According to Chape, the BAFS plans to add a veteran’s category in the future which will include adults from 40 year plus.

Chape, Karabo Thobega and Modise are the only trained officials to umpire and coach fencing sport. The three were sent for training in Senegal a few years ago. BAFS rank athletes before considering them for national team. The tournament winner gains 8 points, silver medallist 6, position 3 and 4 gain 4 points apiece.

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Makwengwe promises fire and fury

Isaac Pheko

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ON A MISSION: Makwengwe

Gaborone United (GU)headcoach Philimon Makwengwe has sent a chilling message to his future opponents following a 0-1 loss to reigning BTC Premiership champions Township Rollers this past weekend.

A buoyant Makwengwe who is searching for at least two hungry strikers at GU declared that there will be nothing but misery in store for his future opponents. Following the closely contested Gaborone derby Makwengwe said:

“I have to improve in attack, I am not scoring goals, and I need to change my position on the log. I know the buzz was around the Gaborone Derby but that was never my concern. My team is currently in the red and I needed the points. I have to get out of the red and attacking my opponents is necessary”.

The unrelenting coach made it clear that Moyagoleele should not perform below their showing against Rollers last weekend. Makwengwe said the Money Machine will need to be “attack minded” in their next fixtures.

“What people should know is that Township Rollers have beaten me three times. They beat me twice back in 2012 during the Mascom Top 8. That was not the last time as they defeated me again at Prisons Airwick means this is now the fourth time.

The local tactician said losses to the Mma-Masire outfit should be a wake-up call for him. Nevertheless, Makwengwe said Rollers are the champions and one of the best teams not only in the country but the rest of the region.

“This is a team that gives a good brand of Botswana football. I am a champion myself, I am not a loser but I cannot beat Rollers alone.” Regarding the rest of the first round, Makwengwe said they will hit the ground running, I have no time to lament on negatives, I will not bemoan so many things.

My next opponents should stand in line and prepare to become victims.” The experienced coach said GU are a big brand and they should move away from where they are in the log standings. Losing 0-1 to a team like Rollers shows that we have to work on consistency.

The coach conceded the fact that he needs to make changes in his squad. I need about eight players including a fast winger on the left, I need a striker or two and these should be real strikers not people who play upfront.

Makwengwe said the current strikers at the team include a local who is a work in progress and a foreigner who is not giving enough to the team.“People want me to hide and I cannot, when you come into this country and you brush aside a local and even the labour law says you have to be better than them(locals), I bet in any profession.

If you want to play a striker for me, work harder.” The coach said he does not have an outright striker, which leaves a gap in the team. “A striker is somebody who pushes and is busy. If he doesn’t score himself, he has to use other players. It doesn’t matter if he is alone against four.”

Makwengwe said he needs two strikers to avoid changing the team too much. “In January, I am going into the market and I am going to buy. My next game is against Miscelleneous and they are coming down. I will have no mercy. Whoever comes I will have no mercy.”

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Old rivals faceoff

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BITTER RIVALS: Notwane Head coach Pio Paul

Notwane Football Club (Sechaba) and Mochudi Centre Chiefs (Magosi), are to battle it out in a potentially massive encounter as both clubs are coming from draws in their previous matches against Prisons IX and Black Forest respectively.

The clash is scheduled to take place at 4pm this Saturday at Molepolole Sports Complex.Sechaba, as Notwane is affectionately known were relegated back in 2015 while Magosi has been going through a financial crisis that hit the club recently.

Having played 9 games a piece, Notwane FC, currently on the 9th position in the BTC Premiership league log standings have won two, drew four and lost three games whereas Centre Chiefs who are occupying the 12th spot have won one, drew five and lost three games.

In a brief interview with Sun Sport this week, Notwane FC Public Relations Officer (PRO) Mogomotsi ‘Ace’ Orapeleng said, “We are going all out to win this fixture, taking nothing away from Centre Chiefs, we are not going to read much into what they have been going through lately hence our approach to the match will be of ‘great’ respect.

This past weekend we dropped a massive two points which could have made a difference against Prisons IX thus making us more desperate to collect three (3) points in this coming clash with Centre Chiefs,” he said.

Questioned about the anxiety brought by this particular contest he said: “Notwane FC and Mochudi Centre Chiefs are big brands of Botswana football, we are aware of the fact that the personnel have changed; new players, management and even sponsors but the ultimate truth is that these two have great following and most people are anxious to see how the events will turn out on the weekend,” said Orapeleng.

For his part, Mochudi Centre Chiefs Vice-Chairman, Clifford Mogomotsi confirmed their aim is to try and improve their position in the league log standings, “In every match we play, our approach is to always expand our position on the log, regardless of which team we play against. Notwane FC is a fantastic team but we are going to fight until the end to win the match,” said Mogomotsi.

Mogomotsi further pointed out that playing against Notwane FC has always been exulting, “Notwane FC has always given us entertaining football as we almost play a similar style of play,” said the Vice-Chairman.

On the possibility of losing points through the impending verdict after failure to honour their game against Miscellaneous a fortnight ago: “Our date with Botswana Premier League (BPL) Disciplinary Committee (DC) has been set, and we are awaiting that,” he explained.

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