National team karetekas Thato Malunga and Mpho Bosenakitso have succumbed to frustrations and prematurely called it quits in the national team setup.
The experienced duo’s journey comes to an end after almost two decades of donning national colors through all ranks of junior teams and climbing the radar to represent country at international level for the senior national team.
The Sunday Standard investigations established that the former dominant karetekas have been sidelined from the national team due to the current gaffer’s belief in youngsters. While the coaches prefer youngsters in national team selections, it has emerged that experienced karetekas have been dumped despite performance.
A source revealed that the current regime does not appreciate experienced athletes and have ignored seeking permission from their workplace to be released when they were called for camp on national duty.
“The duo was still willing to compete for a place in the national team but there has been a lot of politics in local karate hence their resignation from the setup. There is a lot of bootlicking in local karate since the advancement of welfare in the game. Malunga and Bosenakitso are very experienced and it is not that they have aged as they are just under 30 years and their vital experience will be lost to the game,” a source revealed to The Sunday Standard.
Speaking to this publication, the frustrated duo remained cagey on the matter while also expressing their wish and dream to have tried their best for qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics games.
“I really wanted to make the cut for the Olympics karatekas but it has been a rough journey as there has never been assistance in my efforts. I wrote to Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) on several occasions seeking assistance to compete in qualifying championships and nothing came out of my efforts and realized that I am no longer needed in the national set up,” said Malunga.
She further said: “I had to take a decision to shift my focus on coaching at club level. Some of the athletes I train now are ready for national selection so it is best for me to concentrate on grooming them for the future.’’
For his part, Bosenakitso said they have done their part in representing the national team despite resigning in the peak of their careers.
“At times it is important to take decisions best for all as I realized that the athletes training under my tutelage are ready for national selection. I wanted to do more for the national team but the current coaches believe our time has passed as they prefer younger karatekas,” revealed Bosenakitso.