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By Godfrey Mowaneng
Botswana Amateur Fencing Society (BAFS) is proving to be a force to reckon with when it comes to this sport. The duo of Master Aobakwe Modise and Master Karabo Thobega settled for podium places at the just ended Eastern Cape, South Africa open fencing championships held over the weekend.
Modise won silver on the foil weapon category while Thobega settled for bronze in the sabre weapon category. Speaking to The Telegraph, BAFS President Mandla Masuku said winning medals in regional tournaments is a sign that fencing is growing in leaps and bounds.
“As for now, the fencers have made history in gunning down medals in such a high calibre championships. This will boost the athletes’ confidence and drive them to do better and set their goals higher for future championships either locally, regionally and internationally. Winning in such tournaments also boosts confidence in those that did not make part of the team to work harder and represent nation in future,’’ Masuku told The Telegraph.
He was also quick to appreciate support they received from Petronas and Modi PTY (LTD) which enabled the fencers to travel and compete in South Africa. “It is a fact that the society is still struggling financially but it is always a pleasure to have some private companies involved in the development of local sport. Through this assistance we proudly brought home some medals which proves that there is talent and growth in the sport,’’ said Masuku.
Whilst a team of four was sent to the championships, the other two fencers did not manage to win any medals. Masuku praised them saying they gained the necessary exposure which will help them in future events.
“The Eastern Cape open championship is one of those in the calendar that brings together experienced fencers in the region. We believe our performance as a team is not bad and those that did not bring home medals played their part and have gained the necessary experience as they fought for the badge. This is the beginning as we aim for more regional and international accolades in future,’’ Masuku narrated to The Telegraph.