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Chikomo tips Orapa United to win Mascom Top 8

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Prolific Orapa United striker Ronald Chikomo thinks his team can scoop the coveted Mascom Top 8 trophy in their first campaign of the popular tournament affectionately known as ‘Tse Di Tona’.

Chikomo is an authority when it comes to winning the Top 8. He has won the Top 8 twice before with his beloved Gaborone United (GU). Chikomo was speaking during an interview over the weekend after his team Orapa United played to a one-all draw with BDF XI in a Top 8 semis final staged at the Itekeng stadium in Orapa.

“By all means it is not easy to reach the Top 8 semi-finals. This is a rare chance that comes once in a while,” said the striker, who helped Gaborone United win the Top 8 cup during the 2012/13 and the 2014/15 seasons.  Chikomo said they will be ready for BDF during the second leg of the games scheduled for the Francistown sports complex next month.

“I think we started the game in a slow pace because it was very hot we are used to playing most of our games at night,” Chikomo said after drawing with Matebele. The robust and free scoring GU legend said he was happy with his move to the Ostriches of Orapa thus far.

“I am happier at Orapa as I am enjoying more game time. It has been three months since I arrived and the team has given me everything I need,” said Chikomo who scored Orapa United’s only goal on Sunday. 

Meanwhile, BDF will have their hands full with not just Chikomo but the Ostriches’ newest signing, Onkabetse Makganthai. The former Nico United star is currently in scintillating form having changed the complexion of the   game when he came in as a substitute for Chikomo in the second half.  

“This is only my fourth game with   Orapa. I have been great playing for the team so far. Remember that   we are on a winning streak having gone 20 games without a loss.”

Makgantai said the fans in Orapa have received him with open arms adding that the team will deliver the cup after they proceed to the   Top 8 final. “The coach said I should deliver in every game and he was happy with the result against BDF.” For his part Ostriches’ headcoach Madinda Ndlovu   said he was   confident that his team will   win in the second leg of the semi finals.

“We played to a one all draw and this is a game that has its pros and cons, my team is more than capable of scoring. I need two goals to win and proceed to the final.” “This is the Mascom Top 8 and it is all about who wants it the most. How my boys to the goal against them and how they responded showed character.

They came back from    behind and fought hard for the draw.”  A content Ndlovu also took time to sing praises for Makgantai, his latest acquisition adding that he was a good player who will be important in helping to win games in the future.

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Local boxers ready for regional tourney

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CONFIDENT: Newly unveiled LOC is confident that the regional tourney will be a success

Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) this past Tuesday officially unveiled a Local Organising Committee (LOC) that has been tasked with preparing for the upcoming Zone 4 championships that are to be held in Botswana.

The team is headed by celebrated boxing legend France Mabiletsa and is expected to host more than seven countries that are expected to descend in Botswana in the next two weeks. Officiating at the event, Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) Vice Chairperson Tsoseletso Magang said that BoBA officials should refrain from interfering with the task given to the LOC. She noted that many sporting codes often give the LOC the responsibility of delivering an event only for the code members to bully themselves into the affairs of the LOC and disrupts the preparations.

Magang warned that there is little time left before the tournament, and with that, the LOC will need all the support to ensure they deliver a successful event. She noted that hosting the regional tournament gave Botswana an upper hand of fielding more athletes that will have an opportunity to qualify for the Africa Championships scheduled for later this year.

For his part, Mabiletsa noted that they have already hit the ground running and confident that the event will be a success. The competition will be hosted in Botho College and they are in talks with Ave Maria to accommodate athletes. “Life will be made much easier for athletes if they are accommodated at Ave Maria because it is closer to the competition venue,” he said.

He explained that the zone is made up of 12 countries of Lesotho, Angola, Malawi, South Africa and Zimbabwe among others. However as of this past Tuesday, only seven had confirmed participation and they expect to finalize the logistics by the end of the week.

Meanwhile, a formidable national boxing team of eight men captained by Mmusie Tswiiige (60kg) and three ladies led by Lethabo Modukanele (48kg) will represent the country at the regional tournament.

According to the Head coach Lechedzani ‘Master’ Luza, the team has been on camp for the past three weeks. In his opinion, the team is ready to compete. “Generally, they are not bad, we need to work on a few things such as power and speed on some boxers, the defence department is also not bad,” he said.

Luza noted that Botswana has always established herself as a powerhouse and there is no doubt that majority, if not all team Botswana members will win a medal during competition time. He explained that the competition was one of the many leading to Tokyo 2020 Olympics and will give local boxers an opportunity to qualify for the Olympics.

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Branch does it again

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Local motorcycle racing sensation Ross Branch has continued his stellar form after securing overall second position in the internationally renowned Merzouga Rally. The race came to a conclusion this past weekend and Branch has proven his mettle amongst some of the best rally motorcyclists in the world.

The podium finish is expected to take the Dakar Rally racer to even greater heights in the hugely competitive and expensive sport. It has been barely two months since the talented local rider emerged as a top class racer at the Dakar Rally where he finished 13 and walked away with the fastest rookie of the 10 000 km odyssey.

At Merzouga, things seemed a little better for the rider as the terrain offer sand and rock as opposed to the treacherous dunes in Dakar. Branch who was using a different navigation system in Morocco showed his pace after winning the fourth stage of the race last week Thursday.

Prior to his podium finish Branch said Merzouga was only his second rally and he was willing to learn from some of the top riders in the sport. The KTM 450cc rider said he was now setting his sights on other major races including the 2020 Dakar Rally that has been confirmed for Saudi Arabia.

Since returning from the Dakar, Ross has stayed busy and competed at the cross-country championship in Kwazulu Natal in South Africa, where he finished fourth. The local rider is expected to compete at the upcoming 1000 km Toyota Desert Race, an event he has won more than seven times.

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