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Barefoot Runner quits over scotching heat

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The legend of the barefoot runner, Kaelo Mosalagae, might have come to an abrupt end at the weekend’s Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) cross country finals held in Gaborone.

The eagerly anticipated 10km race saw the 35 years old barefoot runner drop out 20 minutes into the race due to the El Niño fuelled scotching heat before a decent   number of marathon supporters. Besides the heat that proved too much for his ‘no running shoes’ policy, the   dominant veteran also had to contend with sharp stones that form part of the character of the hilly race course next to Riverwalk shopping mall.

As supporters were preparing themselves for a fantastic climax sprint to the finish line that usually includes Mosalagae and bitter rivals Sesebo Matlapeng and Shepherd Kenatshele, the barefoot runner was suddenly nowhere to be seen.

“I have never competed in this sort of heat before, it was simply too hot for me,” Mosalagae said after some junior and female competitors were left incapacitated by the heat. “I cannot say much I was lacking something today. I will be back in the next events.”

Meanwhile there could have been more to Mosalagae’s early demise than the heat during the intense race. It later emerged that the 2016 BAA cross-country champion Shepherd Kenatshele came to the race with a chip on his shoulder following earlier trash talk and mind games by Mosalagae.

“I cannot say much about the race. Mosalagae called for a rematch. At the last series race before the finals in Kopong he said I beat him by mistake,” said the dominant Kenatshele. The new force in cross country Marathons clearly sent a message to his rivals before challenging rival Mosalagae to record better race times if he claims to be the best.  

Kenatshele, who represents SSKB Athletics club, won the race in style after sheer dominance from the first whistle. “I am not even a cross country runner. I am naturally an 800m runner. I just compete in this race because it helps me with endurance and speed.” Kenatshele harbours ambitions to compete at Olympic Games.

He castigated local sporting authorities for overlooking him during international assignments for weaker runners. Kenatshele is expected to compete at the inter-military games scheduled for Molepolole later this month.

Meanwhile, dominant female runner Onneilwe Dintwe won the senior women’s 10 km in what came as no surprise. “I am happy with my time of 35min 20sec.  Even though I had hoped for a sub 34 min time,” she said.

Dintwe will compete at the 2016 Gaborone Diacore half marathon in April before going on to compete at the international Durban marathon in South Africa in May.

After the race, BAA president Moses Bantsi said they will now select a team with a minimum of six athletes who will represent the country at the Africa cross country championships in Yaounde, Cameroon on 26th March.

“We will select from both senior and juniors. All categories have generally done well during the race. The guy who won the men’s race showed a lot of improvement given that this was a rather tough course,” Bantsi said.

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Heelang, hands off journalists!

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In our last edition, we touched on athletes who need to be media savvy, however it appears the vaccine needs to be administered on sports leaders too.

There is a highly contagious disease spreading rapidly in the sports space with those in power having a wrong perception of owning the media or somehow entitled to publicity. Such people want to literally dictate what should be broadcast or published, fa ba bata go go nyantshetsa o utwa gotwe, write and send back so I crosscheck.

That equals disrespecting and undermining a journalist to the lowest level; it is more like wanting to teach a scribe how to do their work. If you are in a wrong profession at your respected workplace, please kindly send in your Curriculum Vitae (CV) to newsrooms, you might land that Editor- In Chief position. Then there are those who will make scribes feel like they signed a death warrant, why did you not cover my event? You are not reliable; you are only good at chasing certain individuals. Heelang! Stop crucifying journalists, they do not owe anyone anything and realistically speaking cannot cover everything to please all.

Oops and there are those who never want anything bad or controversial associated with their name. They start off as bosom buddies, discussing ‘non offensive’ issues and once in a while a compliment thrown their way. Once the dark days come knocking and gears are changed, suddenly the same journalist ke moloi wa meno a 4 mo ganong. Really now? So, all along the witch was not visible and now that the tables have turned and it hurts like never before, things have become clearer? Perhaps, you forget what the real job of a scribe is? You cannot befriend a journalist my friends, if you do, then something is seriously wrong! Expect the good together with the bitter taste of unwanted publicity.

There is also a time when the scribes are labelled bomma dijo le bo Rradijo. To an extent that you even emphasize that there will be food at your events, so the more the merrier! I agree, generally only a few can say NO to free food but it becomes a bit untidy when you put a food price tag to your events. Ga re gane, there are some colleagues with a huge appetite and they are not even shy about it but isn’t it that there are people like that all over.

Le re tshabisa go ja, please! Another trend, initially good but now disturbing is that of organisations spoiling some rotten journalists by travelling with them to certain places, all expenses fully paid for. This includes food, accommodation and transportation. Things then become cozy when a drink or two is thrown in, nice but at what expense? Is it out of good will or tantamount to bribery?

Some associations tend to confuse it all with rubbing off bad publicity. Kgantele e nna, ao laitaka, o lebala o robetse ko Cresta Hotel ke go reketse biri? A guilty conscience then kicks in and stories are shelved. It is only a few that manage to look beyond the fancy trips and royal treatment and uphold journalism principles. Better you spoil journalists but without undue expectations, accept both the bad and the good coming your way.

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Abidal punches ticket to TS Galaxy

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[PHOTO:www.facebook.com/TownshipRollersFC]

Township Rollers’s defensive Midfielder Gape ‘Abidal’ Mohutsiwa has confirmed that he will be plying his trade at South African based TS Galaxy next season.

This follows rife speculation that Mohutsiwa’s deal with Galaxy might have somehow fallen off. The strong suspicions came about last week when the national first division side communicated the team’s new signings. Local based players of Mosha Gaolaolwe, Thero Setsile and Ezekiel Morake were mentioned in the list and Mohutsiwa’s name was suspiciously omitted. As if that was not enough, the team went on to show off pictures of the trio signing contracts with the team management but still no mention of Mohutsiwa.

Speaking to Sun Sport this week, Mohutsiwa explained that he had seen the communication but made nothing from it. “I am still going because even my work permit is ready, all is well and there is no need to panic,” he said.

The 22-year-old pointed out that TS Galaxy had informed that they will communicate dates to join them in South Africa. He is expecting their call anytime after completing the season this coming weekend.

“I also saw those pictures with the management and its is not like they signed the contracts last week. I suspect that they were just appreciating the performance made by my fellow colleagues Morake and Setsile during the COSAFA championships staged in Durban South Africa,” said Mohutsiwa.

The young Abidal as he is well known is convinced that the TS Galaxy management was just ‘boasting’ about the kind of talent they are bringing to their team. “I did not perform to the best of my ability during COSAFA championships but I cannot say they were neglecting me, I am actually fine with it,” he said.

Mohutsiwa added that as young as he is, he believes that he has a lot to offer and the intention is not to return home in a year or so. He has been signed for three years and the expectation is that he completes his term and perhaps find other lucrative deals out there.

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