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Chess protégé Masaiti is Women Candidate Master



Local home trained chess protégé Besa Masaiti has been elevated to the status of Women Candidate Master (WCM).  

The 14-year Motswedi Secondary school student was awarded the prestigious title after garnering a bronze medal at the recent African Youth Championships held in Zambia. In an interview this week, Botswana Chess Federation (BCF) spokesperson Neoyame Katisenge said the rising star managed to get position six out of nine at the international tournament in December.

Katisenge explained that Masaiti will now be joining a handful other WCMs including Ontiretse Sabure, Naledi Marape, Naledi Kolatamo and Rosah Nthite. “This is a huge achievement for her as Botswana often went on a five to 10 year dry spell before we could get another WCM. This achievement is not common in Botswana as it often is in chess powerhouses like Egypt and Algeria.”

Katisenge said the WCM status was an entry to other international chess titles. According to Katisenge, the announcement was made recently after the International Chess Federation analysed the Youth championship at which Masaiti competed in Lusaka, Zambia.

In an interview this week, Masaiti’s father and coach, Charles Masaiti said he motivates his daughter through the historical success of sports figures like tennis ace Serena Williams, athletics stars like Amantle Montsho and Nijel Amos on the local front. In addition Masaiti said his pupil is naturally a shy person adding that playing chess often translates to success in other areas of life.

“I would appreciate it if you could also try to link chess games to school performance because I for one have linked it to my children’s performance and they are both striving towards academic success,” Masaiti said. Meanwhile, the proud father and coach said the popular board game was good for stretching a player’s mind, teaches them to be focussed, and learn strategies and planning skills.  

“Chess students learn about the importance of team work, recovering from failure above all, they develop the obsession to win, which is an important attribute in wanting to be a champion at all costs.”

Some of Masaiti’s recent achievements include winning the Debswana Re ba bona ha under 14 girls tournament, the BCF-International tournament pitting Botswana against Zimbabwe, Airfficiency tournament, Botswana chess open and the African Youth-inter schools tournament.

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Zapata takes charge



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



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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