Tuesday, March 5, 2024


Botswana’s medal hopefuls Sensei Ofentse Bakwadi and Lame Hetanang took an early bow from the ongoing World Karate Federation (WKF) World Championships following some below par performances in Austria. 

Sensei Bakwadi suffered an early exit in both Kata and Kumite after he lost 1-0 to Swedish ace Simaei Peyman in Kumite and 3-2 in kata challenge to Tiuch Nikita of Hungary. 

Reflecting on his early exit, Bakwadi said though the tournament was too tough, he could have at least won his Kumite had he studied his opponent.

“It was a closely contested match which I had a chance to win but lost it with a tight 1-0 score-line.  During the match, I tried to apply all the techniques I know but I was unfortunate not to score any point,” Bakwadi opined.

For Bakwadi, the early loss put paid his ambition of winning a medal in the World’s biggest events, something which was not soothed by losing in the first round. 

“The competition this side is tough but being knocked out in the first round is not good. That was not I came here for,” he added. 

In the ladies categories, the reigning Botswana National Sports Commision (2016) Sports woman of the year Lame Hetanang made it into the second rounds of both Kumite and Kata but could not progress any further.

Hetanang beat Alma Suhonic of Bosnia and Herzegovina 5 ÔÇô 0 in the first round of the female Kata but then lost by the same scoreline to Jasmin Bleul of Germany.

In the Kumite section, Hetanang, who was given a bye in the first round, could not make it past the second round after she lost 7 ÔÇô 0 to Kazakhstan’s Yekaterina Khupovets. 

Despite not making it past the second round, Hetanang said she was happy to have gained experience in the grandest of Karate championships.  

“The tournament was tough, but I am happy that I managed to test myself against the best in the world. If I train hard and compete at international events more often, I believe I will be ready to compete for honours against the best in the world,” she said. 

With the tournament all but done with, the two Karatekas are expected to be back in the country on the 1st of November.


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