Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) suffered a major setback in their preparations for upcoming international and regional tournaments when Sensei Tsholofelo Maduma dislocated her toe over the weekend.
Maduma suffered the injury during the Kofukan Open Championships held in Gaborone West community hall, which were meant to select a team to represent the country in the World Kofukan Open slated for Bulgaria in June. It was an all sisters’ battle in the under 60kg category as Maduma clashed with Thato Malunga in a highly anticipated contest that ended abruptly when Maduma dislocated her toe and had to be rushed to hospital.
In a subsequent interview, Maduma said luck was not on her side on the day because she had been having a productive tournament until she came face to face with Malunga.
“The injury occurred when I was trying to attack. I missed a step and dislocated my toe while trying to stretch out to her. I went into that fight knowing that it was going to be a serious test of character, unfortunately my aspirations were cut short,” she said.
Maduma is a regular feature in the karate national team who also features in team events like team Kata and Kumite. She won a bronze medal in team kata alongside Thato Malunga and Baone Radiposo at the All Africa Games that were held in Congo, Brazzaville last year September.
“I have always played a key role in the national team; but now I have been ruled out for two months and that’s a huge blow for my team. We were eyeing a better medal at this year’s Africa Cup. But I believe whoever fills my space will do well,” she said.
Though she led the under 60kg log standing in the first leg of the senior national team selections in Gaborone a fortnight ago, Maduma will also miss out on the second leg in Mahalapye. The three-stage selection process will be used to select top quality Karatekas who will represent the country at the Africa Senior Championships and Zone VI tournament, billed for Gabon and Zimbabwe in April and May respectively.
A frustrated senior national team coach, Sensei George Tshikare could not hide his disappointment, saying Maduma’s injury could result in the team coming back from the tournament empty handed.
“Maduma is an asset to the ladies team and I know her potential. But I haven’t given up yet, I will keep a close eye on the ladies team to identify her replacement,” he said.