As two boxers are blocked from participating in All Africa Games
· Boxing blames BNSC/BNOC
· Gaseitsiwe says they were not informed of the rules
Fresh information from the ongoing All Africa Games in Rabat, Morocco suggest that two of Botswana boxers will no longer take part in the tournament after the competition rules vetted them out.
Following the technical meeting on Tuesday night, Kobamelo Molatlhegi and Treasure Moremi were dropped from the team after it was discovered that their weight divisions fell out of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics standard weights. Molatlhegi and Moremi are in the 49kg and 60kg men’s weight categories.
Following their exit, Botswana team has remained with only six male pugilists being Mmusi Tswiige, Pitso Mmopiemang, Mohammad Otukile, and George Molwantwa while the ladies section has Aratwa Kasemang, Keamogetse Kenosi and Lethabo Modukanele.
Prior to the competition the team had high hopes of improving their chances of qualifying for 2020 Olympic Games in vast numbers through fielding all of their boxers. Now, a target of four medals which Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) had set for itself have been dented greatly. Botswana now has boxers in only 52, 57, 63, and 69 kg weight divisions.
According to BoBA president Thato Patlakwe they were not aware of the changes since they never received the manual of the games at any time.
“It is an unfortunate incident for us. We were not aware of these changes because we were informed that we will start using the Olympic weights only after our World Championships and that was according to AIBA. I think the host (BNOC & BNSC) did not do their job on time as there was no communication on that and as BoBA we went with AIBA decision and look where it has brought us. We lost two potential medals after putting time, money and energy to prepare these boxers and I know my boxers are dying to play. But I’m still to engage both BNSC and BNOC on the matter,” said Patlakwe.
Of late there has been confusion in the Botswana camp as to who is really the host of the games between BNOC and BNSC.
Commenting on the dropping of the boxers, BNSC Sport Development Director Bobby Gaseitsiwe, who is also the chef de mission of the games, said just like BoBA they were not aware of the new rules.
“As the organisers of the games we did not know about the rules because we would not have allowed those athletes to travel with the team. We only learnt of this after boxing technical meeting and it was unfortunate as these athletes have fully prepared for these games. They will however be supported and they will stay with the rest of the squad until the competition ends,” he said.