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Local karate sensation in Malaysia

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Botswana’s under 60kg karate sensation Thabang Setshego is currently in Malaysia for a four –year business course in Human Resources Management. The Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) in conjunction with the Ministry of Education and Skills funded his studies through the Elite Scholarship Fund. The young karateka jetted off to the Asian nation last week Friday. In an interview with Sun Sports this week, Setshego said he is settling well in the foreign country, however he is not sure what will happen with his sports career in the meantime.

As an elite athlete, Setshego said he is still trying to figure out how to balance his sports career and school. “ I want to remain focused, school will be first for now but I am not intending on neglecting my abilities as a karateka too, ” Setshego said. Setshego said he is currently in talks with an Egyptian coach who currently serves as the national team coach in Malaysia; “ The coach said he will speak to the Malaysian Karate Federation on my behalf and see what to do. If things go well, I might start training with the national team, if not, I will find other ways to deal with it,” he said.

The enthusiastic lad said he would be looking to take advantage of being under the guidance of some of the best karate coaches while in Asia, adding that he will be looking to put the skills learnt while abroad to good use when he returns to Africa. The optimistic Setshego also mentioned that he is excited in that China and Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) are also up on their toes to help him realize his dreams. Setshego said he will probably miss out on some of the major competitions this year as his fund can only cover two major tournaments.

According to Setshego, there is a chances that he might miss out on the Zone 6 competitions to be held in Botswana this May but will surely be available for the Africa Championship slated for Rwanda. Quizzed on their plans for the athlete, BOKA president Tshepo Bathai said they have already engaged one coach in Malaysia to keep an eye on him. “ As far as we are aware he is in good hands, we will keep monitoring his stay there and we will assist him whenever possible,” Bathai assured. He said he was not aware if Setshego was currently in talks with any other coach apart from the one who they had been in talks with before his departure. “ He can be coached by someone until we are sure of his capabilities as a coach,” Bathai said.

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Well-endowed Galaxy

Isaac Pheko

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FIRE POWER: Galaxy await Rollers

It is only the third week of the 2018/19 BTC Premiership and things are already heating up. Leading the charge is a marauding Jwaneng Galaxy who have already thrown a heavy-handed gauntlet at their rivals after recording a highly impressive 10 goals in just two games.

Galaxy’s intention has been made clear this season after leaving their first two opponents with bloody noses and tails tucked between their legs. The former Mascom Top 8 champions are in a relentless war path with the premier league title on their radar. This weekend, Galaxy host bitter rivals Township Rollers in Jwaneng in what is expected to be a football grudge match. Rollers have been a prickly thorn in Galaxy’s quest to claim the premiership silverware for the past two seasons.

This means the weekend fixture will be the most compelling of the new season. However, Galaxy seem to be packing more heat coming into the Saturday fixture having annihilated both Prisons XI (5-0) and Security Systems (5-0). Galaxy are currently occupying first position alongside second place Sharps Shooting Stars at six points apeice. The game against Popa this weekend will be a litmus test for Galaxy. If the Debswana backed side beats the reigning champions they will establish themselves as potential contenders for the 2018/19 title honours. On the flipside, a loss against Rollers will only mean the first two games were short of a bluff.

Pound for pound Mapalastina have the best squad in the domestic league but a new look Galaxy are well endowed in their own right. In an interview this week, Galaxy spokesperson Tankiso Morake said they played Rollers three times last season and all the games ended in a draw. “Remember we played Rollers in the Mascom Top 8 in Lobatse,” an up-beat Morake said. Morake further said they expected their new coach to receive his permits and start manning the bench when they play Rollers this weekend. “Our supporters have told us that they expected nothing less than league honours this season.” Morake attributes the positive result to a great pre-season.

“You will remember that there was a fake list in the media indicating that we have parted ways with most of our players. You can see that the likes of Ayanda Molefe and Isaac Paeye are still part of the team. There is a lot of competition in our team because we mostly have young players in the team including Lebogang Ditsile who played at Highlands Park in South Africa.” Furthermore, Morake conceded that Rollers are a strong team but argued that they will win the games from the technical bench. “You will remember that we started the last season back tracking but this time things are different.”

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Bridge team fails to impress

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The local team comprised of under 16, under 21 and under 26 categories. In an interview this week, BBF spokesperson Mbakiso Malilo did not mince his words when he described the team’s performance as terrible with all the three teams failing to qualify for the quarter finals.

“Making it to the quarter finals was our target following a good showing in the online championship by our junior team. I believe we can work on improving the playing standard for kids (under 16) as they still stand a chance to compete in the under 21 and under 26 categories for future championships,” he said.

However, Malilo explained that the local youth team gained a lot of experience as the played against more advanced rivals. Quizzed on challenges they faced with a predominantly youthful team, Malilo said: “the trip was too long and for most of the players this was their first experienced of travelling such a great distance. The jet lag ended up affecting the team’s performance as they showed signs of fatigue.” Malilo said their objective was to train young players and give them exposure to the game early on.

“We managed to network with bridge power houses like the Netherlands. Official from the European country expressed interest in training our kids through bridge clinics and enhancing the standard of play and bidding.” Malilo said they selected the junior team that travelled to China through local tournament that was held in Gaborone earlier this year. The tournament was attend by mostly tertiary school students and out of school youth in the junior and youngsters’ category. For the under 16 category we invited student from secondary schools.

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