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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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Zapata takes charge

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TAKING CHARGE: Zapata assumes his position

Township Rollers Head Coach Rodolfo Zapata was this past Tuesday in charge of the team’s training session, a first since he was appointed Rollers coach in November 2018.

Sun Sports has been reliably informed by sources that were present at the morning session that the Argentine coach was at the grounds and it was all clear that he is now the man in control of the team.

Zapata was made to jump through hoops before he could finally take over the reins at Rollers. First he had to battle with his former club, Gaborone United to cancel his active working permit with the team. The matter dragged for more than a month.

When GU finally gave in, Zapata’s qualifications as a coach were questioned. This came as shocking given that Zapata is GU’s former coach. Nevertheless, a source within Botswana Football Association (BFA) circles has told this paper that Zapata was cleared by CAF last week. As things stand Zapata will be expected on the bench this coming Friday when they play Notwane. If not, then his first job will be the Mascom Top 8 Semi-final against GU next week.

The Rollers management could not be reached yesterday as their phones rang unanswered and repeated efforts revealed that the team spokesperson, Bafana Pheto is currently across borders.
Meanwhile, Zapata’s arrival comes at a crucial time following Rollers ‘s embarrassing defeat to the hands of rivals Jwaneng Galaxy this past weekend. Galaxy cut short the endless winning streak of the defending championships to serve them their second loss since the beginning of the league with a score line of 3-1.

Of late , unconfirmed reports suggest that players had grown impatient with the caretaker coach, Thabo Motang. They differed and questioned his decisions on the pitch. Motang is now reported to have gone back to the department he knows best, goalkeeper coach.

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Moluba wants a replica of previous success

Tshepo Kehemile

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PLAY MAKER: Moalosi is a prolific goal scorer

Township Rollers influential midfielder, Edwin Moalosi confirmed his ambitions to help his team to repeat their run in the previous season to win both Botswana Telecommunication (BTC) Premiership league and the Mascom Top 8. Moluba as he is affectionately known said this after their 3-1 loss to Jwaneng Galaxy at the National Stadium this past Saturday.

Rollers 2018/19 BTC league campaign have been impressive thus far as they are still at the summit of the log despite their loss over the weekend. The Galaxy loss was their second, having lost to the other mining team, Orapa United. However, they have already reached the semi-finals of the Mascom Top 8.

Moalosi told Sun Sport that this season is not going to be a walk in the path, “It is not easy being the defending Champions as you become the team to beat, every team will try hard not to give you space to play or attack hence all the games we play become a mammoth task,” said Moalosi.

Moalosi further stated that being eliminated from the Confederations of African Football (CAF) Champions league early was a blessing in disguise, “We are now out of the CAF Champions league and we can now focus on doing well in the domestic league and cup tournament (Mascom Top 8).

In addition, we need to double our efforts as players so that we reach our ultimate goals,” he said.
Quizzed about his individual goals as a player despite picking so many injuries this season, he said, “Injuries are part of the game, it only depends on every player as to how you respond to it, I am always positive regardless of the circumstances I come across. I want to increase my goal tally and hopefully improve my assists as well,” explained.

However, Jwaneng Galaxy Captain, Olebogeng Malebye who scored a marvellous curler on the day said they are going to give Rollers a run for their money this season, “We are going to fight to death to try and leapfrog Rollers and eventually win the league as it has been our aim for a long time. And finally, we managed to beat them after a very long time trying with no success,” said Malebye.

Jwaneng Galaxy’s season is slowly improving as they are now second on the log, and Orapa United seems to be struggling a bit but the league is still open. Another round of BTC Premiership league matches is expected to continue this coming weekend with a couple of interesting fixtures to look out to including Township Rollers and Notwane FC on Friday at Molepolole and Security Systems and Mochudi Centre Chiefs on Saturday at the same venue, just to mention a few.

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