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Makwala doesn’t come cheap

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The founder of Sports View Runners Club Glody Dube says he will do anything possible to ensure that Commonwealth Games hero, Isaac Makwala (400M) competes at the upcoming Gaborone International Meet (GIM) event scheduled for April 29th.

Dube was speaking at the GIM Pula Medical Aid Fund sponsorship launch this past Monday. Pula are sponsoring the 2018 GIM to the tune of P50 000. In a bid to bring an exciting event to the people, Dube proclaimed that he wants to bring nothing but the best to Batswana. Despite being financially challenged, Dube said he fully understands that Batswana deserve a chance to witness their heroes run in home soil, in particular Makwala.

Team Botswana including Makwala are expected to arrive home today (Wednesday) from the just ended 2018 Commonwealth Games. Makwala won gold in the 400m final and led the 4x400m men’s relay team to another golden finish. Late last year, Makwala became the centre of controversy during the IAAF World Championships staged in London. He was reported to have contracted a contagious Norovirus and the IAAF barred him from competing in the 400m and 200m races. The runner went on to run a solo 200m run under wet weather conditions. After the London Championships Makwala proceeded to compete at the Diamond League. Upon his return to Botswana, Makwala never competed locally before kick starting his season in South Africa at the Grand Prix Series. “I am sure that every Motswana badly wants to see this young man who is currently at the peak of his career and it will be a dream come true to have him at the GIM event,” Dube said. Nevertheless, Dube will have to dig deep in his pockets to have Makwala at the GIM event, he revealed that the athlete has asked for a P 10 000 appearance fee.

“He is not just any ordinary athlete and we need to know that they run for a living, so we have to pay him and I will not rest until that is finalised,” he assured. Should the GIM team not be able to raise the money, Makwala is most likely to head to the Diamond League in Doha that is expected to start early next month. “Our event is more of the Diamond League and we need to do all it takes to alleviate it to the expected standard.” Other local athletes who are most likely to be present on the day include Amantle Montsho and Galefele Moroko of Sports View Runners Club. Quizzed about international athletes expected to grace the event, Dube remained cagey and said they are yet to finalise the list and will reveal the full list sometime next week. Nevertheless, the GIM Local Organising committee had initially expressed great interest in South African sprints Caster Semenya and Wayde Van Niekerk. Van Niekerk however did not compete in Australia following his recent injury.

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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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