Botswana Badminton Association (BBA) has called up a team of four players to represent Botswana at the All Africa Senior Championships which are slated for Kampala, Uganda from the 21st-28th October 2021.
The team comprises two females and males being Tessa Kabelo, Tebogo Ndzinge and Tumisang Olekantse and Tshepo Perekisi respectively.
The quartet was selected from a pool of players who were invited for national team selections last month.
From the many players who thronged the Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the four players came top and they will now have to prove their mettle against the best players in Africa.
Played in singles and mixed team events, the tournament provides a perfect chance for athletes to earn ranking points which will contribute to both continental and world rankings since the competition is sanctioned by Badminton Confederation of Africa.
Led by Coach Oreeditse Thela, the team has been subjected to individual training as they await training camp.
The tournament comes after a lengthy spell of inactivity in the international arena.
However the local team has been boosted by the recent hosting of Gaborone Open where players had the chance to gauge themselves in competitive action.
The quartet performed well at the local tournament, managing to finish in podium positions in singles, men’s double, ladies double and mixed doubles.
Ndzinge said she was hoping for the best despite having to train alone in preparation as she awaits the the team camp.
“My teammates have been helping with training. I would say there is a bit of pressure going to the tournament considering my performance from the previous local tournament. I believe a lot of people expect consistency and to carry on with the winning spirit. Nevertheless I’m going there to do my best. So my target is women’s doubles. That’s where I feel we can bring back a medal home but I’m not ruling out women’s singles,” said the 28-year-old Gaborone Badminton Club player.
Last time Ndzinge competed at the All Africa Championships was in 2015 where she finished in last 16 and quarterfinals in singles and doubles.
Armed with a silver and bronze medals from Botswana and Zambia International, there is hope that the 28-year-old can effectively challenge for podium positions in Kampala.
For his part coach Thela said they have targeted a quarter final finish for the team at the championships.
“The preparations are ongoing and this team has been together since February, gearing up for this tourney. Weekend training camps were utilized, however some parts of the plans were affected duo to the Covid-19 restrictions on sports and movement,” he added.
Botswana finished in position six in team events and a quarterfinal finish in the ladies doubles in the last edition in 2017.