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.
Selibe Phikwe bowls club faces closure
Selibe-Phikwe Bowls Club faces a possible collapse, Sun Sports has learnt. This follows the closure of the BCL mine back in 2016, which has seen the club struggle without the supply of electricity and water.
Speaking to this publication this week, the chairperson of Phikwe club Oabona Motladiile said that things have been stagnant since the mine closed doors. “Nothing is happening here, there is no action at all because when the mine closed, it meant there was no one to pay for the water and electricity bills,” Motladiile said.
Motlaadile explained that their grounds are situated at Area 2, a place that the mine paid all bills for, however it has since proved very hard for them to maintain the green that needs constant watering. He said they do not have any alternative facilities to use and have since informed the Phikwe council about their difficulties but still solutions have not been found.
The Phikwe Chairman at the time of going to press said he was not sure of the exact figures they needed on a monthly basis but around 20 000 litres of water and electricity not exceeding P 1 000. He lamented that the Phikwe club is one of the oldest clubs locally and at one point had about 30 members. However, numbers have been dropping because there is no action.
“We are a very competitive club of men and women who make it into the national team,” he said. John Gaborutwe who is the BBA Vice President said that the possible closure of Phikwe Bowls Club was one of the topical issues to be discussed during the BBA Annual General Meeting (AGM) this coming weekend. The affiliates will be expected to vote for a new Vice President, Treasurer and Director of Bowls as the term for the current office bearers expires.
The AGM will be followed by the start of the Rose Bowl tournament. The tournament is the 1st of the 5-series major tournaments for the 2019 season. The remaining tournaments will be held in Francistown, Orapa, Jwaneng and Phikwe respectively. Jwaneng club is the defending champions.
BFA FIRES BRIGHT
Allegations coming out of the Botswana Football Association (BFA) are that national football team head coach Major David Bright has been fired as of Tuesday this week. The illustrious veteran tactician took over from Englishman Peter James Butler more than a year ago.
At the helm of the Zebras, Bright struggled to bring home positive results and find winning combinations. Having failed to lead Zebras past the qualifying stages of the 2019 Afcon competition was the first sign of trouble for the veteran coach at Lekidi. Furthermore the experienced tactician was expected to improve Botswana’s position in the FIFA world rankings. The Zebras are currently in the lowly 145th position.
According to sources close to the matter, Bright was handed a termination letter and challenged to show cause why he should not be relieved of his duties at Lekidi. As one of the most decorated coaches in both Botswana and CAF region, Bright has coached numerous teams including South Africa’s Bay United, Gaborone United and Morupule Wonders.
Reached for comment on the matter the BFA president Maclean Letshwiti insisted that the former army man is still in charge of the senior national team. For his part Bright said he could not comment on the matter and referred Sun Sport to the BFA.
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