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TAFIC, Galaxy in must win encounter

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BTC premiership contenders Jwaneng Galaxy are expected to meet the Francistown based side of TAFIC Sporting Club today (Wednesday) at Jwaneng Stadium in BTC Premiership fixture. Galaxy are expected to be aggressive and push for maximum points during the game. A crucial win against TAFIC will see Galaxy swiftly move up the log and stand on par with rivals Township Rollers with 49 points each. Rollers dropped points after failing to contain the unpredictable Orapa United this past Monday at Itekeng Stadium. Popa succumbed to a 2-0 defeat. Galaxy will be hoping to advantage and catch up with the title favourites.

The 2016/2017 Mascom Top 8 Champions will be looking for the last piece of silverware after they failed to defend their title this season. Galaxy further suffered crushing loss during their debut at the CAF championships league having been tossed out in the preliminary stage. If there is any hope for Galaxy this season, it avoiding the loss of points and focusing on the last seven games. Galaxy’s Serbian coach Zlatko Krmpotic will be forced to play his cards close to the chest. Strategic will be key when they face TAFIC. Matjimenyenga are a on survival mode and they are not to be taken lightly; actually, it was the same team that humbled the Galaxy with a 1-0 win during the first leg of the 2017/18 Season.

Krmpotic who is still finding his ground at Galaxy will be relying on the experienced legs of Tebogo Sembowa, Patrick Kaunda and Ayanda Molefhe among others. Meanwhile with only a few weeks left before the end of the season, TAFIC has enough problems as it is. The team is currently battling to escape the relegation axe. Matjimenyenga are currently limping at position 13 in the log standings. Having only been promoted to the elite league last season, the Francistown outfit cannot afford another spell in the National First Division. The promotion to the elite league had brought much needed excitement to the football supporters in the lucrative Francistown area.

Despite the challenges that have been plaguing TAFIC in and out of the pitch, the team has managed a mixed run thus far. From their last five played fixtures, TAFIC registered only one loss to BDF XI, drew two and won two. In the absence of TAFIC headcoach Coach Rapelang Razor Tsatsilebe who is still serving suspension, Assistant Coach Kentse Motlhale and Wrist Mmusi will be in charge. The match is expected to mark the return of right back Elijah Motseoatile who has been absent serving his suspension for his two consecutive yellow cards. Kick off time is 1700hrs.

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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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