The 2010 curtain is about to fall into the sporting fraternity of Botswana and for the first time in the history of the country, Botswana achieved a lot in the international arena.
Certain individuals made the year to be fun filled and memorable. Undoubtedly, the sports newsmaker was the soccer national team, the Zebras, mainly because of their fairytale run in the qualifiers for 2012 Africa Cup of Nations.
The success and failure of the team is determined by the coach and for the Zebras, it is Stanley Tshosane.
The man took over the Zebras under reservations from certain sections of the football fraternity. Many people were of the view that a foreigner should take over because a local would fail.
The Botswana Football Association (BFA) also wanted to appoint a foreign coach but was restricted by inadequate financial resources.
Names of renowned veteran coaches like Roald Poulsen kept on cropping up but his salary demands were too high for the BFA.
Tshosane ended up getting the post under tremendous pressure to perform. His detractors said his former team, BDF XI, nearly got relegated and wondered what value he would bring to the national team.
Pressure mounted for Tshosane after roping in Kenneth Mogae to be his assistant because his team, Boteti Young Fighters, had also just got relegated.
Tshosane proved his critics wrong by beating African giants like Tunisia and Togo and made Botswana a force to reckon with.
Currently, Botswana is on the verge of making their maiden appearance at 2012 AFCON to be co-hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
According to the recently released FIFA rankings, Botswana is the world’s fast movers together with Serbia.
Botswana started the year at 118 and now they are at an incredible position 53.
The rankings mean that local players, especially those in the national team, can easily make it to the tough European league, especially the English Premier league.
It is tough for any international player to make it there because they take into consideration rankings of the player’s countries and even the number of international matches for the past two seasons.
Amantle Montsho further raised Botswana’s flag by becoming Botswana’s first sports person to win a gold medal at this year’s Commonwealth Games. She further stunned the world by breaking the 400 meter record of the Games.
The government has since awarded her with an open scholarship of her choice.
Before triumphing at the Commonwealth Games, Montsho challenged in most of the international events she participated in and if it wasn’t for other athletes she could have long given up.
The boxing fraternity rarely performs well at the Commonwealth Games but this year they proved their mettle by bringing home two bronze medals.
Boxers who did well were unknown on the international scene.
The duo of Oteng Oteng and Tirafalo Seoko looks to have a bright future ahead of them.
If they can get vigorous and proper training, they might even do well at the 2012 London Olympics.
Botswana is yet to win something from the Olympics and now all eyes are on the trio if Oteng, Seoko and Montsho.