… Win Zone IV champs with six gold; one silver and two bronze medals
Botswana boxing national team bagged nine medals to emerge the champions of the region in the just ended Zone IV Boxing Championships which was held in Gaborone.
The team that comprised of 9 boxers, three females and 6 males fought in various weight categories to clinch 6 gold,1silver and 2 bronze medals for the country. All the gold and silver medalists have successfully qualified for the Africa Boxing Championships which means Botswana will have seven representatives at the continental showpiece if funds permit.
Otukile Mohammed was declared boxer of the tournament following his remarkable 5-0 win over Ben Banda of Zambia in the finals of the 52 kg fly weight. Botswana’s good run continued in the 60 and 69kg weight divisions with Treasure Moremi and Mmusi Tswiige dominating their Lesotho and Angolan opponents respectively through 5-0 score lines in the finals.
As if that was not enough ,George Molwantwa won Botswana yet another gold medal in the 56kg through a walkover after his Zambian opponent Evaristo Mulenga failed to show up for the match. The team’s only silver medal came from the new blood in the squad Kobamelo Molatlhegi who lost 3-2 to Patrick Chinyimba (Zambia) in the 49kg contest while Pitso Mmopiemang won bronze medal in the 64kg.
In the ladies section Botswana’s gold medals came through Lethabo Modukanele and Aratwa Kesemang in the 51kg and 60kg weight divisions respectively. Keamogetse Kenosi clinched bronze medal following her early exit in the semifinals after losing to Somalia’s Ramla Ali. Molwantwa’s semifinal match against Thabang Mafokate (South Africa) was voted the best bout of the tournament while in the ladies section it was scooped by Nomsa Ngema (South Africa) versus Ramla Ali. Best female boxer award went to Kesemang while Botswana’s Godfrey Kably was voted as the best referee.
Head coach Lechedzani Luza has hailed the success of the. Prior to the tournament Luza had wanted all the boxers to win a medal regardless of colour, something which the squad achieved. “It is a great performance from the team; I had nine boxers but managed to take seven to the finals that’s a milestone on its own. However, we need to work more on the defence when we attack and then also we need what we call faint and counter attack because we are not good on that so fast opponents can always expose us if we don’t work on that aspect. So in a nutshell the tournament was great because we have a lot of ups after all we lost two bouts in the semifinals but it’s a competition you can’t expect to bring nine pugilists and win everything. But we deserve everything we have done because it shows we are hosting and redeeming our boxing,” said Luza.