The national boxing team jetted off to Congo Brazzaville on Wednesday for the Africa Championships billed for 17th -25th June.
The team comprises nine boxers -Mohamed Otukile (52kg), George Molwantwa (56kg), Kefentse Molalapata (60kg), 64kg Kabo Seitshiro (64kg) and Zibane Chikanda (75 kg) all men while the women’s side will be represented by Beauty Phori (48kg), Lethabo Modukanele (51 kg), Keamogetse Kenosi (60 kg) and Aratwa Kasemang (64kg).
The team is led by head coach Lechezdani ‘Master’ Luza and his two assistants, Emmanual Galeboe and Junior Moeti. Gibson Rauwe is the team manager while Dr Thuto Ralegoreng joins them as a medical practitioner.
Speaking during the team’s final training session earlier this week, Galeboe expressed confidence in his team saying they have been putting a lot of effort during their training camp since beginning of the month.
He said missing out on the Zone 4 competitions was a big blow to them because they normally use the competition to gauge the physical and mental strength of boxers.
Galeboe stated that BoBA tried to seek international friendly matches with Mauritius but the lack of funds slowed down their plans. Moreover, Galeboe said it was not easy picking the final team because many of the athletes appeared to be in shape. However the team is still expecting to bring home positive results.
Botswana won silver and four bronze medals from the 2016 Africa Championships; however the optimistic Galeboe said they are eyeing at least four gold and a few silver medals.
The coach was delighted that for the first time in history, BoBA is sending an increased number of women to participate at international level. “This clearly shows development from our side and I am certain that with time, we shall have more ladies in this male dominated sport,” he said.
For his part, Dr Ralegoreng said all athletes passed all health assessments they were scheduled to undergo and assured that they are travelling with a team free from injuries.