Local table tennis players dominate regional tourney
Following three days of table tennis whiff-whaff, Botswana’s top table players earned top honours in the just ended Botswana Table Tennis Association(BTTA) Regional Championships, winning two Gold medals, one Silver and three Bronze medals.
With one eye on the Commonwealth Games qualifiers, players outdid themselves to give national team coaches something to think about.
The first gold was won by Bakang Maloka, pipping his compatriot Tshenolo Mooketsi 4-1 in a thrilling back and forth encounter which eventually ended in his favour.
The Moshupa born player who had to come back from a set down pocketed P 8000 for his hard fought victory.
In the ladies section Botswana’s top seed Tshepiso Rebatenne survived a scare from Mubanga Kunda of Zambia who gave her a torrid time throughout the final.
At some point the pendulum seemed to be swinging to the Zambian’s, until the local lady pulled an ace out of her sleeve, coming from a set down to win 4-2 and an P8000 cheque.
In a post match interview team coach Thobo Matlhatsi said although he was happy with the medals, he was worried by his team’s lack of mental strength.
“We wanted gold and we got it, but we need to go back to the drawing board because we made too many little mistakes,” he said.
“There was concentration lapse, and match rhythm was all wrong,” Matlhatsi told Voice Sport, adding that he would have been happier many of his players reached the last eight.
The tournament was sponsored by Phoniex Assurance to a tune of P50 000.
It attracted players from Zambia ,Lesotho and Nambia, while the rest of the players came from local ping-pong clubs.