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Team Botswana inspires Australian boy

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An incredible performance by the Botswana team final track race at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games has left an everlasting impression on a local boy, himself dreaming of one day running for gold and glory at the Games.

Australian boy, Kyal Sorensen who is 6 years old and from Nerang on the Gold Coast, was track-side at the main stadium for the thrilling final of the 4X400 metre race, which saw Botswana come from behind to take the gold medal win in spectacular fashion, overtaking the Jamaican and Bahamian teams in the last leg. Cheering on the runners as the passed for each lap of the track, Kyal was jumping at the chance to see world-class runners up close for the first time. “Seeing the runners going so fast was great, they were as fast as cheetahs,” Kyal said when he looked back at photos from the race. “My father made sure we were up close to the athletes and being there to see it was incredible,” he added.

Kyal is an aspiring footballer and runner who has already competed in three races at his school on the Gold Coast, taking home a podium finish in each race including two first-place runs in the 60-metre sprint and a -place finish in his cross-country distance race last year. The performance at this Games by the Botswana athletes has been a consistent crowd favourite, and at no time was this more prominent than during and after the 4X400m relay race. In a display of grace and professionalism, team runners Leaname Maotoanong, Baboloki Thebe, Onkabetse Nkobolo and Isaac Makwala took to the track to share their victory with the spectators, Nkobolo stopping to meet with Kyal and his father Luke for a photograph.

“Meeting the Botswana runner (Nkobolo) is something I will remember forever, and one day I just want to be like them and run just as fast,” Kyal said of his chance meeting. The spectacle of the running events and the competitive flair of the athletes had a significant impact on a lot of the Australian spectators, especially on children like Kyal who said, “when you see the runners go past it just makes you want to be out there on that track and to be winning the race.” Kyal’s father Luke was proud of his son showing such ambition and said, “it’s so great to see those athletes from Botswana and Bahamas and all over the world take such an interest in the kids here.”

Taking photos from the stands to capture the moment, Luke shared the experience with his son and hopes to make a special photo album for him to remember the Games. “These incredible runners from Botswana are some of the fastest in the world and during their great moment of winning the gold medal they also stop to share their spirit and celebration with the youngest fans and spectators, which is something all people in Botswana should be extremely proud of,” said Luke after the event. The Gold Coast father and son shared their gratitude with Luke adding, “my son and I meeting Onkabetse Nkobolo was one of the biggest highlights for us at the 2018 Games and we just want to say thank you to him and his fellow team mates for being so friendly, they will always be true champions to us.”

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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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