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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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Well-endowed Galaxy

Isaac Pheko

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FIRE POWER: Galaxy await Rollers

It is only the third week of the 2018/19 BTC Premiership and things are already heating up. Leading the charge is a marauding Jwaneng Galaxy who have already thrown a heavy-handed gauntlet at their rivals after recording a highly impressive 10 goals in just two games.

Galaxy’s intention has been made clear this season after leaving their first two opponents with bloody noses and tails tucked between their legs. The former Mascom Top 8 champions are in a relentless war path with the premier league title on their radar. This weekend, Galaxy host bitter rivals Township Rollers in Jwaneng in what is expected to be a football grudge match. Rollers have been a prickly thorn in Galaxy’s quest to claim the premiership silverware for the past two seasons.

This means the weekend fixture will be the most compelling of the new season. However, Galaxy seem to be packing more heat coming into the Saturday fixture having annihilated both Prisons XI (5-0) and Security Systems (5-0). Galaxy are currently occupying first position alongside second place Sharps Shooting Stars at six points apeice. The game against Popa this weekend will be a litmus test for Galaxy. If the Debswana backed side beats the reigning champions they will establish themselves as potential contenders for the 2018/19 title honours. On the flipside, a loss against Rollers will only mean the first two games were short of a bluff.

Pound for pound Mapalastina have the best squad in the domestic league but a new look Galaxy are well endowed in their own right. In an interview this week, Galaxy spokesperson Tankiso Morake said they played Rollers three times last season and all the games ended in a draw. “Remember we played Rollers in the Mascom Top 8 in Lobatse,” an up-beat Morake said. Morake further said they expected their new coach to receive his permits and start manning the bench when they play Rollers this weekend. “Our supporters have told us that they expected nothing less than league honours this season.” Morake attributes the positive result to a great pre-season.

“You will remember that there was a fake list in the media indicating that we have parted ways with most of our players. You can see that the likes of Ayanda Molefe and Isaac Paeye are still part of the team. There is a lot of competition in our team because we mostly have young players in the team including Lebogang Ditsile who played at Highlands Park in South Africa.” Furthermore, Morake conceded that Rollers are a strong team but argued that they will win the games from the technical bench. “You will remember that we started the last season back tracking but this time things are different.”

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Bridge team fails to impress

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The local team comprised of under 16, under 21 and under 26 categories. In an interview this week, BBF spokesperson Mbakiso Malilo did not mince his words when he described the team’s performance as terrible with all the three teams failing to qualify for the quarter finals.

“Making it to the quarter finals was our target following a good showing in the online championship by our junior team. I believe we can work on improving the playing standard for kids (under 16) as they still stand a chance to compete in the under 21 and under 26 categories for future championships,” he said.

However, Malilo explained that the local youth team gained a lot of experience as the played against more advanced rivals. Quizzed on challenges they faced with a predominantly youthful team, Malilo said: “the trip was too long and for most of the players this was their first experienced of travelling such a great distance. The jet lag ended up affecting the team’s performance as they showed signs of fatigue.” Malilo said their objective was to train young players and give them exposure to the game early on.

“We managed to network with bridge power houses like the Netherlands. Official from the European country expressed interest in training our kids through bridge clinics and enhancing the standard of play and bidding.” Malilo said they selected the junior team that travelled to China through local tournament that was held in Gaborone earlier this year. The tournament was attend by mostly tertiary school students and out of school youth in the junior and youngsters’ category. For the under 16 category we invited student from secondary schools.

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