Botswana Senior Men national boxing team has missed an opportunity to compete at this years’ World Championship after the technical team made a decision to skip the tournament. The 2019 Championships have been ongoing in Sochi, Russia since the 7th of September. The tournament which for the first time in history was free to almost all the boxers provided a perfect chance for local pugilists to gain some massive experience on the world stage, however the technical staff rather choose to rest the team after a hectic schedule.
Ever since July the national team has been on the road preparing for All Africa games. They started their expedition in Zambia for a tournament before heading to Thailand for a training camp and tournament where they spent two weeks. From there the team headed to France where they camped ahead of Africa games which they also competed in at Morocco for a fortnight period. According to Coach Lechedzani Luza they decided to skip the tournament such that the quartet of Mohammed Otukile, Mmusi Tswiige, George Molwantwa and Pitso Mmopiemang can rest and recuperate.
“We deliberately decided not to participate because you will remember that we were in Morocco and we arrived home on the 3rd of September so we had on only less than four days to rest and travel to Russia so it was suicidal for our athletes. Mind you some of our athletes played five bouts during Africa games which were very tough .So nowadays in boxing we compete without headgears so after those tough fights it was necessary for our athletes to rest for the sake of health and the body has to recover and pick up fitness again. So there was little time in between and it wasn’t our fault, it is how the AIBA calendar has been designed it doesn’t favour Africa at all,” explained Luza.
Nonetheless the Women’s team will take part in World Championships which are scheduled to commence on the 3rd of October. The team comprise of Lethabo Modukanele, Keamogetse Kenosi and Aratwa Kasemang who had a good run at the Africa games. Though the trio is also on rest as of now, Luza said they will soon go on camp to prepare for the tournament. “Currently we are preparing our women and we have international and local training camps for Olympic qualifiers which will take place in February, so all our programmes are still intact nothing has changed,” he said.
Following an issue in which Kobamelo Molatlhegi and Treasure Moremi were vetted out at the Africa games due to the reason that their categories fall out of the Olympic weight the issue is said to be sorted out by the boxing association before the Olympic Qualifiers next year. “Technical team is meeting this weekend to make final decision on the team composition. Part of the decision is on Olympic weights categories going forward,” said BoBA president Thato Patlakwe.