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Women boxers scintillating bouts impress

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Local women’s boxing seems to be making a comeback in local structures of the combat sport. At an interclub tournament held in Lobatse over the weekend there was an impressive four women’s bouts featuring relatively new faces in the sport.

Two of the bouts were walkovers while the other two bouts were TKOs. Recently, the Botswana Boxing Association decried their difficulty in retaining women boxers. The four bouts over the weekend saw women competing in 49, 60 and 75kg divisions. However, these are a far cry from BoBA’s heydays when the likes of Pearl Morake and Keneilwe Rakhudu would often represent the country at regional competitions like Zone 4.

In a brief interview, BoBA spokesperson, Kenny Maragana said the women at the interclub tournament displayed an appetising performance, adding that the association is planning   to revive and bring women back within BoBA structures.

Maragana said BoBA’s secretary general, Irene Ntelamo, who is also a member of the Amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA) is fighting to ensure that women’s boxing finally becomes fully-fledged within BoBA structures. Maragana said there is hope for young upcoming boxers to develop and become prestigious in the future.

About the interclub tournament at Peleng Community Hall in Lobatse, Maragana said it uncovered new grassroots talent that immediately made a statement. “There is surely hope for the future, we witnessed eye-catching bouts in which some of our seasoned boxers were given a run for their money by up and coming talent.”

Among the interesting bouts was a middleweight (75kg) contest featuring Keoagile Rantutu and upstart Obakeng Molebo. Molebo gave the sensational Rantutu a run for his money. “They young boxer did not give the established Rantutu any respect in the ring, although Rantutu eventually won 2-1.”

In another bout the talented Otukile Mohammed made sure there were sparks in his exciting 56kg bout against Thabiso Mpolokeng. Mohammed won 2-1. Maragana said the fitness level and maturity of the boxers speak volumes, adding that BoBA will soon be telling a different and interesting story.

Meanwhile, Maragana explained that the tournaments are meant to prepare for the Africa Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region’s five competitions to be held in Angola in December.

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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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