The achievements of Lebogang Mascarenhas, Botswana’s Women Bowling champion, continue to grow by the day. The World Bowling Championships, which were held in New Zealand, saw her move from position 10 to position eight in the world.
Although she bowed out when she faced an Australian rival, she says she performed well. She told The Sunday Standard that she even attracted attention from some of the world’s champions who were impressed with her performance. She managed to secure a place in the quarter finals only to be booted out as the tournament wore on. She won against Fiji, Wales, Jersey, Hong Kong China, Brunei and Spain. She lost to Swaziland, South Africa, England, Cook Islands, New Zealand and Australia.
She said she was the only one from Africa to have secured a place in the quarter finals.
“I did not only hoist Botswana’s flag but also the African flag because I was the only one from the ladies team who managed to secure a place in the quarter finals,” she said. She added that she exhibited a lot of improvement in her performance because she managed to clinch position eight in the world, compared to last year’s position 10.
“I have shown a lot of improvement in my performance because I was able to secure position eight in the world out of 29 countries,” she said.
Mascarenhas expressed confidence that when she jets off to Scotland this year she wont disappoint. She is expected to participate in the World Singles Champion of Champions.
“I expect to do better than this when I play in Scotland in August in the World Singles Championships,” she said.
She is the only one from the ladies category who is expected to represent Botswana in Scotland. She added that another local bowler, Jimmy Mckinneon from the men’s category, has also qualified for the World Singles Champion of Champions.
“I’m the only one from the women’s category and there is also Jimmy Mckinneon and I think we will represent Botswana together as he has also qualified. Hopefully, I think I will put up a brilliant performance,” she said.
She acknowledged that she faced stiff competition during the tournament as some of the much fancied bowlers gave her a torrid time.
She said first on her hit list were Wales and Jersey, adding that it was a privilege for her to compete against some of the world’s powerhouses.
Mascarenhas could not hide her pride at the way she gave the New Zealand Bowling Champion, with two gold medals to her name, a hard time.
“Despite the fact that I was playing against a big country like New Zealand whose champion has two gold medals under her belt, I gave her a run for her money,” she said.
She added that she was the only bowler whom the New Zealand bowling Champion found not to be a pushover.
“I proved to her that despite the fact that I’m from a small country like Botswana, I’m also a champion in my own right. I was not a walkover,” she said.
She added that her pictures were “displayed for all those who were present to see.”
She expressed concern that, in the doubles, there were some irregularities in the way the matches were handled.
“I must say that in the doubles things were not done professionally,” she said. She added that in the triples they drew one and won three and that was when the Botswana team gained confidence.”
She said there is need for Botswana to improve because the international players that they compete against have exposure.
The local bowling champion said some of the scores that the Botswana team got were really disappointing.
“Some of the countries that we competed against exhibited maturity and this showed that they were thoroughly trained. They were there merely to shine and win the matches,” she said. She, however, said competing against world powerhouses was good for the development of bowling in Botswana.