Monday, January 30, 2023

Tlokweng’s young ‘knights’ catch the eye at Gaborone Open

Tlokweng Fencing Club’s young ├®p├®eists’ proved a potent with swords in their hands as they dominated proceedings at the 2016 Gaborone Open Championships.   

The Botswana Armature Fencing Federation (BAFF) organized event was hosted at the Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) Hall this past Saturday.

Fighting against other ‘modern knights’ from different clubs across the country, the youngsters from Tlokweng were a marvel to watch, as they ‘slashed and stabbed’ their way into national team army ahead of international tournaments.

Among the club’s ├®p├®eist who shone the brightest was Thabile Pilane. The 21 year old lass won the senior ladies ├ëp├®e category after dismissing Lorato Mokgoro of Mogoditshane Fencing Club 10-9 in what was a closely fought contest.

“I am happy with my performance because I was fencing with people that I have never met at any tournament. I did not know how they dueled, which was a bit difficult because it took me time to notice their strength and weaknesses,” a clearly elated Pilane said.

Pilane was however full of praise for her opponent in the finals, Mokgoro, who gave her a hard time in what was a closely fought match.

“The finals were tough because I won with a thin margin. My opponent attacked me relentlessly but I remained calm. I was depending on the counter attacks that seemed to be so difficult for her to resist but she gave me a run for my money,” said Pilane.

For her part, silver medalist Mokgoro said she did not prepare well for the tournament owing to illness which restricted her preparations for over six weeks.

“I spent six weeks without training because I was not feeling well and I trained only for  a week prior to the tournament. I did not expect to win anything but I am happy I managed to make the finals. I will be going hard on training from here preparing for the next tournament,” she added.

In an all Tlokweng Fencing Club affair in junior men’s ├®p├®e, it was Master Karabo Thobega who won gold ahead of club mate Laone Lesejane. Thobega beat Lesejane 15 ÔÇô 11 in what was yet another hotly contested final.

“My bout was the toughest and I didn’t expect this fierce competition more especially from my team mates. Lesejane beat me in the preliminaries, but I was prepared when I faced him in the finals. As my teammate, I know him very well because we train together. I therefore capitalized on his mistakes and weaknesses to win this final bout,” said Thobega.

Tlokweng Fencing Club’s dominance extended to the men’s senior category, where the club’s Tirelo Mokibe brushed aside Thabang Bogacu to win yet another gold for Tlokweng.

All Fencers who did well earned themselves a spot in the national team, which is expected to head to South Africa next month to compete at the Limpopo open tournament.


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