Saturday, July 2, 2022

Smash Maniacs dominate top 16 tournament

Smash Maniacs table tennis club players were the toast of the day during the Botswana Table Tennis Top 16 tournament this past weekend as they won all first positions in the tournament.

The team, which boasts some of the countries’ best players who also feature for the national team. were in a buoyant mood during the Top 16 tournament as they won all top prizes on offer.

While their arch-rivals Botswana Defense Force (BDF) Table Tennis Club offered a little resistance to the Smash Maniacs’ tide during the tournament, it was almost all in vain and the team from the barracks had to be content with coming second best.

While BDF managed to salvage some pride from the tournament, despite coming second in the men’s singles and men’s doubles, it was a different racket game altogether in the ladies’ section where smash maniacs won all positions on offer.

The dominant display of Smash Maniacs’ ladies in the tournament must have surely hurt BDF the most as it was their former players, Boitshwarelo Butale and Lovie Chilisa who ensured Smash Maniacs clean all before them in the ladies section.

Butale beat fellow national team player and club mate Matshidiso Osi to clinch the ladies’ singles title while Chilisa beat former team mate Tshepiso Rebatenne of BDF to ensure all the top three positions go to Smash Maniacs.

The former BDF ladies, Butale and Chlisa, then teamed up in the women’s doubles to beat fellow Smash Maniacs stable mates Osi and Phemelo Gaborapelwe, ensuring that their team sweeps all prizes in the women’s category.

In the mixed doubles, Butale teamed up with Tshepo Modisane to beat fellow team mates Bonolo Mabote and Chilisa to help Smash Maniacs to the top two positions in the category. While Smash Maniacs were also dominant in the men’s section, it was however no plain sailing for the team as BDF gave them some food for thought.

The men’s category was however full of surprises as national team players found the going tough. The biggest surprise came in the men’s singles where Smash Maniacs’ Masa Lesole beat a host of national team players to clinch the men’s title. Lesole disposed off Thobo Matlhatsi of BDF 4 ÔÇô3 to clinch the title.

By so doing, Lesole, who was playing in his maiden Top 16 tournament, became the first player outside the top ten ranking to win the title. The third position went to BDF’s Keromemang Chise who beat the country’s number one player, Bonolo Mabote of Smash Maniacs. In the men’s doubles, Mabote teamed up with Lesole to beat a team of Boipelo Pitsonyane and Matlhatsi of BDF.

The tournament was sponsored by the Botswana Table Tennis Association after the association had failed to find a sponsor. The winners of the tournament were awarded P800 prize money, while the runners’ ups and third place holder were awarded P600 and P300 respectively.

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