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Rolers scare Lovers

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Green Lovers’ headcoach Othusitse Kootselwe is not a man to minces his words. Unlike other rookie teams that never survive the first season in the premier league, Kootselwe is adamant that Lovers will remain in the beMOBILE Premiership league for years to come.

The coach said this on the backdrop of receiving a one-sided thorough hiding from league front runners Township Rollers over the weekend. After the heavy 6-1 loss at the hands of Rollers, Lovers will face another stiff test when they take on the might of BDF XI in their last game of the this season’s first round of the league.

Despite being steam rolled by Popa Popa, Kootselwe said he was generally pleased with his team’s performance for their first season in the premier league. Lovers are currently at position 12 out of 16 teams, with a total of 15 points.

The Serowe outfit managed to secure five victories and lose nine games in the first round. “There is nothing much I will change about the team. We are hammering some of these teams, we will make it through, many people did not think we will be here. We are not going to relegate,” Kootselwe said after the heavy loss to Rollers.

It was a case of hero-worshipping on the day, with most of the Lovers’ players meeting their favourite team for the first time. Kootselwe revealed: “My players were trembling with fear throughout the game, especially as most of them grew up supporting the multiple champions.

They only came on song in the second half.” He added that he was not going to make any drastic changes to his squad during the January transfer window.
The coach did not hold back on recent issues surrounding his star player and league run away success Moatlhodi Ralesotla over after talk that the 24-year-old striker and current top goal scorer allegedly signed with Gaborone United.

“There is a lot of talk around him, that’s why he did not perform well against Rollers. My opinion is that the player should stay with us for the rest of the season because we know him better. If he is lured with money and joins another team in the second round, he will have to make adjustments at the new team,” he said.

However, Kootselwe conceded that Lovers did not have the financial muscle to keep the free scoring-player, adding that they could not stop him if he wanted to go somewhere else.

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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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