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Reflections on top 16 triumphs

IN ACTION: Tshepiso Rebatenne

A day after President Mokgweetsi Masisi announced the suspension of all sports and recreational activities, Botswana Table Tennis Association (BTTA) staged a tournament dubbed Phoenix Assurance Top 16 Invitational on Saturday.

According to BTTA Publicity Secretary Arthur Kgaswe only the top 16 seeded players from both men and women categories took part in the tournament in an effort to manage numbers and comply with Covid-19 regulations.

On the men’s results, Bakang Moloka, 24, of Moshupa Spinners Table Tennis Club defeated Sean Dekop of Nhabe Table Tennis Club 3-2 at the finals of the tourney while Tshepiso Rebatenne, 34, Nhabe Table Tennis Club walloped Olorato Ramagapu of Smash Maniacs Table Tennis Club 3-0.

Responding to question asked by Voice Sport on Monday, Maloka said he did not expect to win this tournament because he was not physically fit.

“It was a surprise win for me because my preparation for the tournament was not good,” he said.

CHAMP: Bakang Moloka

For her part, veteran Rebatenne who has dominated local table tennis sport for years said she was happy to have emerged victorious.

“Being a top-seeded player is not simple as every player that you come across wants to beat you, so I have to practice hard,” she said.

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Quizzed about why veterans still dominate local table tennis sports, she said; “I think our upcoming players especially from the ladies category, lack confidence when they play against us, and some of them lack passion for the sport,” said Rebatenne.

Winners from both categories walked away with P3000 while the runners-up took home P1500. There was also a P750 consolation price for all the semi-finalists.

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