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Team Botswana Chef De Mission in the just concluded Rio Olympic Games, Moses Moruisi, says they had selected an injury free team for the international sport showpiece.

Speaking to Sun Sports shortly after Team Botswana landed at Sir Seretse Khama International Airport on Tuesday, Moruisi said the athletes suffered injuries during the Olympic games.“We took a fit team to Rio, the injuries were sudden and unexpected.

I cannot say we went to Rio with injuries. Baboloki Thebe competed at the world Junior championships and he participated in all of the events until the relay,” said Moruisi.

“When we got to Rio there was concern that he had a muscle problem. We even inquired for assistance from the Nike physiotherapist before his race. After the race we learnt that he cannot compete any longer.” Moruisi explained that one of the key athletes Nijel Amos also had a hamstring injury between training and the preliminary heat events.

Nevertheless, Moruisi did not take anything away from the team. “Overall this was a very good and impressive performance bearing in mind that we had two juniors who demonstrated through their race times that they are improving drastically.”  Moruisi appealed for “perfect structures” to be put in place to help the athletes improve in future and that the young athletes should continue to compete at the Junior championships and avoid intense major events.

“Looking at the number of competitions they have competed at this year, I think we should not allow them to participate in the Diamond League since they had a long season.” Meanwhile Team Botswana received a warm reception in Gaborone despite failing to bring home any medal.

Local diehard fans showed support with chanting and ululations reverberating from the airport. However, when the team touched down in Gaborone around lunchtime it was without four of their compatriots -Naomi Ruele (swimming), Given Bogopa (Judo), Isaac Makwala (track) and David van de Colff (swimming).
Moruisi said he expected the athletes to land safely soon after. “It was difficult to get their (athletes) tickets.

There were a lot of teams in Rio so we had a problem to get out of the city as they were struggling to get tickets,” he said. Moruisi said that the prize money dangled before the athletes had a positive impact on their performance at the games, adding that such a gesture did not put any pressure on them. “A life of an athlete is based on prize money, every medal has a prize even the Nike contracts have a price for each achievement.

The International Athletics Association Federation (IAAF) awards athletes with up to 100 000 US dollars for record breaking performances. This is part and parcel of the trade so our own should get used to it as it is embedded in athletics.”

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Selibe Phikwe bowls club faces closure

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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.

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BFA FIRES BRIGHT

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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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