Orapa United attacking midfielder Tendai Nyumasi’s nagging thigh injury to have negative effects on his football career. This past weekend when Orapa humiliated Gaborone United (GU) 4-1in a Mascom Top 8 second leg semi-final clash, Nyumasi could not continue with the game because of his painful injury. Nyumasi found himself substituted by Ronald Chikomo 10 minutes into the second half of the game. However, the 32-year-old Zimbabwean player could not take it anymore as his emotions got the best of him when he walked out of the pitch.
So painful was the substitution that the passionate player could not help but shed a tear. Compounding to his painful replacement was that the player had just earned his side (Orapa United) the much- needed equalizing goal in the dying minutes of the first half. From a distance, it seemed the goal had helped him regain his confidence, only for his hopes to be dashed by the nagging injury. He failed to contain himself and wept bitterly in his Coach Daniel ‘Chico Dance’ Nare arms. Both his legs were in severe pain and he was forced to call it a day.
Nyumasi returned to the playing field a fortnight ago, he has been on a long rest since the beginning of the 2017/2018 season. The weekend match was his second assignment in the Mascom Top 8 Cup. During the first leg of their encounter with GU at Itekeng Stadium a week ago, Nyumasi was pulled out during the 60th minute. “I am hurt, I wanted to play the full 90 minutes but my legs could not allow me and the coach decided to pull me out,” said the shattered Nyumasi in an interview with Sun Sports after the game. Nyumasi explained that his legs are failing him and he has to be cautious to prevent further complications. He said doctors told him that his muscles were almost torn however they have assured him that he will recover with time.
Orapa’s game against GU had sparks flying all over, Orapa was having a field day embarrassing the Gaborone based outfit, a mouthwatering game it was in Nyumasi’s opinion. He said his heart was bleeding when he was forced to watch from the bench, he too wanted a piece of the cake. Meanwhile, Orapa United mouthpiece Kabo William has assured that Nyumasi is fine and all is well. “He got emotional because he wanted to score more goals on the day, he was thirsty for a win that day,” he said. William said should there be any changes they will give him (Nyumasi) enough rest however they were instructed by medical practitioners that he should be given game time for him to keep fit. He is expected to be on the line up during the Mascom TOP 8 final against Township Rollers later this month.
Volleyball coach explains selection of national team
Botswana Volleyball Federation (BVF) national team coach Kabo Ntshinogang says winning a league performance award does not guarantee national team call up.
Ntshinogang was responding to complaints made by some players recently that the national team squad is decided on favoritism and not merit. To their surprise, some players that were honored for exceptional play in the 2018 Mascom league were missing from the preliminary national team list that was released by the federation recently. The national team is preparing for the All Africa games qualifiers to be held in Mozambique later this month.
“Yes it is true, not all who were honored by Mascom last year made it into the team. Winning an award does not book a seat in the national team, a lot of things go into being selected as national team material,” Ntshinogang said this week.
The coach in charge of the ladies’ team explained that in some instances, a player can score many points in one particular game while a more talented player might have been absent on the day.
That, he said could make other talented players fail to collect points and catch up, as every game is different.
“We use the league to gauge performance however, we can never all agree on who is best suited a place in the national team. Difference in opinions will always come in and perhaps provide a healthy debate,” the coach said.
Ntshinogang added that if he indeed used favoritism to pick his team then his side of Mafolofolo Club would be dominating the list. Nevertheless, Kutlwano players are the ones with a large number of players at national team level. On the men side, assistant coach Kealeboga Mmekwane said that contrary to negative reports he came across, Kesaobaka Lenkopane of BDF XI, who was the 2018 league best setter has been invited to training but has not showed up yet.
“He was omitted from the list yes but we have since contacted his coach that the player should join the national team during training,” he said. Mmekwane continued to note that another omitted name was Meffery Chindumbo who is a foreigner and could not be called for national team duty. He revealed that they look into matters such as height, skill and the defence ability when they select their preferred team.
He explained that it was hard picking names and they were forced to rely on past experiences. “There is no league and we had to think hard to come up with a competitive team,” he said. For their first training, Mmekwane noted that the players are all a bit rusty as they are returning from a long break, saying some have even gained weight. He however expressed confidence that they will qualify for the games as they have over the years established themselves as a powerhouse in the region.
Marape increases Botswana’s medal tally
Women Fide Master (WFM) Naledi Marape dazzled at the just ended Zone 4.3 championships held in Madagascar. She brought home a bronze medal.
The 2019 edition was the young Marape’s second zonal competition having finished on 5th position in Mozambique last year. Nevertheless, she emerged all hell bent to leave an impressive mark in Madagascar as she defeated highly ranked players to increase Botswana ‘s medal tally.
Marape emulated winning ways of Women International Master (WIM) Onkemetse Francis who finished in second position, grabbing a silver medal. Francis returned to the Chessboard following a short break from the game, itching to defend her 2018 bronze medal. She would however go up the ranks and give way for the developing star that is Marape.
It seems Marape drew inspiration from the experienced side of Francis and rightly put her foot down. The Botswana Chess Federation (BCF) spokesperson Kutlwano Tatolo explained that Marape is actually chasing her first Olympiad appearance next year.
“She has been doing well and one of the best youth players, however, competition is very stiff and she will need to work extra hard to improve her game,” she said. Tatolo described Marape as a player still full of energy and thirsty for success saying her level of growth in the game was promising.
However, Marape began the year on a low note and actually lost out on forming part of the ten Metropolitan Championships ladies’ finalists, thus the urge to keep busy drove her to international excellence.
The BCF had sent only one female representative to Madagascar however, Marape and another youth side in Women Candidate Master (WCM) Natalie Banda sponsored themselves to attend the zonal competition. Banda, who was making a debut at the tournament, finished in an impressive 8th position and she was given a trophy for being the youngest participant at the tournament.
Meanwhile, Fide Master (FM) Phemelo Khetho who recently won the Metropolitan championship failed to defend his 2018 silver medal in the open section but instead dropped to position 13.
His counterpart International Master (IM) Providence Oatlhotse, finished on the 6th place.
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