Two judo athletes Thato Lebang and Gavin Mogopa who have qualified for the Olympics in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil this year are currently in Japan to prepare well for the games. They have been in Japan since December. The duo, who will be the first to be represent Botswana at the Olympics level in Judo, are not going there to make the numbers but to compete too. Thato Lebang and Gavin Mogopa have always represented Botswana well in regional championships. Their coach Kingsley Segokotlo revealed that the athletes are very excited to about their Olympics prospects. They have many regional gold medals under their belts with Lebang having been a medallist at the 2014 Gaborone youth games.
Segokotlo said the athletes fared very well among them peers at the Tokyo Grand Slam. “One thing that we realised we needed to improve on was their fitness as compared to their counterparts there,” he said. The athletes will fly from Japan to Tunisia where they will be based until April this year when they will compete in the African Championships. They will also compete in the Youth Commonwealth Championships in South Africa and the Junior Championships in Morocco. Segokotlo said that he believes with the extensive training that they will be subjected to in countries that are very advanced in the sport, they will go far both at regional and global platforms.