The Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) can now focus on conquering the continent after their exploits in the region. Having reclaimed their crown as the best in the Southern Region at the just ended Zone VI Boxing Championships, BoBA can now start focusing on conquering Africa, with the African Confederation Boxing Championships and the All Africa Games firmly in sight.
In what was a proud moment for BoBA, the ten (10) member youthful team they had sent to the regional championships made history, bringing home ten medals. Of the ten medals, six were gold while the remaining four were silver. The country’s gold medals came courtesy of Kefentse Molalapata, Mmusi Tswiige, Zibani Chikanda, Thabang Motsewabeng as well as the Bagwasi brothers, Kagiso and Kabelo. The four silvers came through Tefo Rammupudu, Thabiso Mpolokeng as well as the country’s two women representatives Koketso Dipogiso and Pearl Morake.
Due to their huge medal count, Botswana ran out as winners by a clear mile. The Lechedzani Master Luza drilled team amassed a total of 37 points, a clear 19 points more than second placed South Africa who had accumulated 18 points and 28 points more than third placed Angola who managed only 9 points. With gold and bronze winners from the zonal championships automatically qualifying for the Africa Games, the massive medal haul means all the ten boxers now have an opportunity to represent the country at the Africa Games, though this is not guaranteed as per the claims of the BoBA President, Dr Thato Patlakwe. Welcoming the boxers after their successful excursion at the Zone IV championships, the elated BoBA President warned the returning boxers that they will have to keep optimal fitness and prove their mettle once again before they can guarantee their ticket to the All Africa Games.
The BoBA President’s warning will come as no surprise more especially with many seasoned boxers, among them the likes of Tirafalo Seoko and Oteng Oteng having missed the regional championships.
The two boxers are expected to be among many who will be contesting to book themselves a ticket to the African Confederation Boxing Championships which are scheduled to take place from the 15th to the 25th of August and ultimately the All Africa Games which are billed for Brazzaville, Congo from the 4th to the 19th of September this year. According to Dr Patlakwe, BoBA is seeking to take only quality boxers with medal prospects to the continental and international games, saying as such, no one is guaranteed a permanent place in the national team set up.
With the Zone IV returning team made up of youthful athletes, the BoBA President emphasised that should some of them fail to make the national team for upcoming games, they will not be left to disappear from boxing. With BoBA’s four year Olympic cycle coming to an end after next year’s Rio Olympics, it is believed that many members of the team can be part of the next four year cycle.