The Botswana Boxing Association (BOBA) has sent a team of six boxers to represent the country at the International Boxing Association (AIBA) Youth World Boxing Championships.
The championships are billed for Sofia, Bulgaria, from the 10th to the 25th of April this year.
The team, which is composed of four boys and two girls, left the country this past Friday. Speaking at a press briefing, the Botswana Youth boxing team coach, Lechedzani Luza said the team has prepared well for the championships.
Apart from the training camps, members of the team have competed in the local interclub championships and have also recently competed at the Africa Youth Boxing Championships which were held in Cameroon.
At the Cameroon championships, the Botswana youth team performed admirably, bringing home five medals, four silvers and a bronze.
However, with at least 700 boxers said to be likely to compete at the games, the competition is likely to be much tougher for the local youths, more so as the games serve as the sole qualifying event for the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympics.
Despite this, Luza said he is hoping that some of his charges will qualify for the youth Olympics. Only boys and girls aged 17 and 18 are eligible to compete at the games.
The local boys’ team is comprised of Mohammed Otukile (49 kg), Kutlwano Ogaketse (52 kg), Ontlogetse Qaate (56 kg) and Atang Mosenke (64 kg) while Keamogetse Kenosi (60 kg) and Koketso Dipogiso make the girls’ team.
The team will be accompanied by senior national boxing team coach Khumiso Ikgopoleng.
With some of the team members expected to be part of a team that will represent the country during the Gaborone 2014 2nd Africa Youth Games, it is expected that the games will also serve as good preparations for the games.
Meanwhile, the Botswana senior boxing national team will leave tomorrow (Monday) for Africa Zone 4 boxing championships in Pretoria. The team, which will be coached by senior team assistant coach Thebe Setlalekgosi, is made of 11 boxers, nine men and two ladies.
The team, which is also made of youthful boxers is made of Mooketsi Lekgetho (49 kg), Tefo Rammupudu (52 kg), Tirafalo Seoko and Kefentse Molalapata (both 56 kg), Kabelo Bagwasi (60 kg), Kagiso Bagwasi (64 kg), Mmusi Tswiige (69 kg), Botshelo Robby (75 kg) and Thabang Motsewabeng (81 kg) in the men’s section while Keneilwe Rakhudu (64 kg) and Pearl Morake (75 kg) make the women’s team.
According to Setlalekgosi, the zonal games will give Botswana a clear picture of what to expect at the upcoming Africa Boxing Championships, which are billed for Gabon, as well as the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games in June later this year.
With BOBA hoping to send its biggest ever boxing representation for the Commonwealth Games, the Zonal Championships are expected to showcase boxers who are likely to represent the country at Glasgow. To qualify for the Glasgow 2014 games, boxers are expected to have won a bronze medal or better at the continental competition or at least silver or gold at the zonal championships.