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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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Makwengwe promises fire and fury

Isaac Pheko

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ON A MISSION: Makwengwe

Gaborone United (GU)headcoach Philimon Makwengwe has sent a chilling message to his future opponents following a 0-1 loss to reigning BTC Premiership champions Township Rollers this past weekend.

A buoyant Makwengwe who is searching for at least two hungry strikers at GU declared that there will be nothing but misery in store for his future opponents. Following the closely contested Gaborone derby Makwengwe said:

“I have to improve in attack, I am not scoring goals, and I need to change my position on the log. I know the buzz was around the Gaborone Derby but that was never my concern. My team is currently in the red and I needed the points. I have to get out of the red and attacking my opponents is necessary”.

The unrelenting coach made it clear that Moyagoleele should not perform below their showing against Rollers last weekend. Makwengwe said the Money Machine will need to be “attack minded” in their next fixtures.

“What people should know is that Township Rollers have beaten me three times. They beat me twice back in 2012 during the Mascom Top 8. That was not the last time as they defeated me again at Prisons Airwick means this is now the fourth time.

The local tactician said losses to the Mma-Masire outfit should be a wake-up call for him. Nevertheless, Makwengwe said Rollers are the champions and one of the best teams not only in the country but the rest of the region.

“This is a team that gives a good brand of Botswana football. I am a champion myself, I am not a loser but I cannot beat Rollers alone.” Regarding the rest of the first round, Makwengwe said they will hit the ground running, I have no time to lament on negatives, I will not bemoan so many things.

My next opponents should stand in line and prepare to become victims.” The experienced coach said GU are a big brand and they should move away from where they are in the log standings. Losing 0-1 to a team like Rollers shows that we have to work on consistency.

The coach conceded the fact that he needs to make changes in his squad. I need about eight players including a fast winger on the left, I need a striker or two and these should be real strikers not people who play upfront.

Makwengwe said the current strikers at the team include a local who is a work in progress and a foreigner who is not giving enough to the team.“People want me to hide and I cannot, when you come into this country and you brush aside a local and even the labour law says you have to be better than them(locals), I bet in any profession.

If you want to play a striker for me, work harder.” The coach said he does not have an outright striker, which leaves a gap in the team. “A striker is somebody who pushes and is busy. If he doesn’t score himself, he has to use other players. It doesn’t matter if he is alone against four.”

Makwengwe said he needs two strikers to avoid changing the team too much. “In January, I am going into the market and I am going to buy. My next game is against Miscelleneous and they are coming down. I will have no mercy. Whoever comes I will have no mercy.”

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Old rivals faceoff

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BITTER RIVALS: Notwane Head coach Pio Paul

Notwane Football Club (Sechaba) and Mochudi Centre Chiefs (Magosi), are to battle it out in a potentially massive encounter as both clubs are coming from draws in their previous matches against Prisons IX and Black Forest respectively.

The clash is scheduled to take place at 4pm this Saturday at Molepolole Sports Complex.Sechaba, as Notwane is affectionately known were relegated back in 2015 while Magosi has been going through a financial crisis that hit the club recently.

Having played 9 games a piece, Notwane FC, currently on the 9th position in the BTC Premiership league log standings have won two, drew four and lost three games whereas Centre Chiefs who are occupying the 12th spot have won one, drew five and lost three games.

In a brief interview with Sun Sport this week, Notwane FC Public Relations Officer (PRO) Mogomotsi ‘Ace’ Orapeleng said, “We are going all out to win this fixture, taking nothing away from Centre Chiefs, we are not going to read much into what they have been going through lately hence our approach to the match will be of ‘great’ respect.

This past weekend we dropped a massive two points which could have made a difference against Prisons IX thus making us more desperate to collect three (3) points in this coming clash with Centre Chiefs,” he said.

Questioned about the anxiety brought by this particular contest he said: “Notwane FC and Mochudi Centre Chiefs are big brands of Botswana football, we are aware of the fact that the personnel have changed; new players, management and even sponsors but the ultimate truth is that these two have great following and most people are anxious to see how the events will turn out on the weekend,” said Orapeleng.

For his part, Mochudi Centre Chiefs Vice-Chairman, Clifford Mogomotsi confirmed their aim is to try and improve their position in the league log standings, “In every match we play, our approach is to always expand our position on the log, regardless of which team we play against. Notwane FC is a fantastic team but we are going to fight until the end to win the match,” said Mogomotsi.

Mogomotsi further pointed out that playing against Notwane FC has always been exulting, “Notwane FC has always given us entertaining football as we almost play a similar style of play,” said the Vice-Chairman.

On the possibility of losing points through the impending verdict after failure to honour their game against Miscellaneous a fortnight ago: “Our date with Botswana Premier League (BPL) Disciplinary Committee (DC) has been set, and we are awaiting that,” he explained.

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