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Karatekas' battle cry to BNSC
Karatekas' battle cry to BNSC
SMILING THROUGH ADVERSITY: Team BW medalists

Sports

Karatekas’ battle cry to BNSC

Local karatekas have let out a huge ‘KIAI’, a universal karate cry, in the direction of the country’s sport governing body Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC).

This follows the Council’s failure to sponsor Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) national team for the 10th Commonwealth Karate Championships in Birmingham on September 7th and 8th.

Karatekas' battle cry to BNSC

CRYING OUT: Action from Birmingham

In a no holds barred communique from BOKA Secretary General Bose Caiphus, the SG has accused the Council of not according them the respect they deserve.

“Karate should be taken as seriously as other sports codes, such as athletics. Our team has won and continues to win more medals than any other sports code competing at an international level,” fired Caiphus.

BNSC had earlier this year informed BOKA that it did not have any funds to disburse for them to participate in international tournaments unless athletes raised funds themselves.

“When we asked for funding from BNSC we were bluntly told that there was no money, and that athletes should fund themselves if they want to participate in international tournaments,” cried Caiphus.

Despite getting no financial assistance from government BOKA still managed to send a strong team of 15 athletes, who hoisted the blue, black and white flag high, extending the nation’s winning streak at the Commonwealth Games by winning nine medals and finishing eighth overall out of 16 competitors who represented the 54 nations.

The team’s medal haul included two gold, one silver, and six bronze medals.

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Kagiso Mophuting won gold in the under-21 male kata category, while the senior female trio of Amantle Sekano, Lesego Masimola, and Lethabo Leburu’s won a second gold for team BW. Mbise Takobona finished second in the 75kg senior male category.

In an interview with Voice Sport Leburu expressed delight with her achievement, and at her teammates’ performance.

“I’m pleased with my performance and that of my teammates. It feels great to have won a gold medal despite the challenges we faced from the very beginning of our preparations. The tournament was very tough and competitive so having brought home a medal let alone a gold medal brings me honor and pride,” she said.

Ofentse Bakwadi, one of the top karatekas in the nation had a bad start, finishing 13th in the senior male kata category and missing out on a podium finish.

Karatekas' battle cry to BNSC

BRONZE BEAUTIES: Bakwadi and his team-mates

The veteran would however redeem himself by winning bronze in team kata category alongside Boemo Ranosimong and Mophuting.

Caiphus who travelled with the team sang praises for the team for winning medals despite the early hiccups to their preparations.

“This year we performed a little below par compared to 2018 were we dominated all the team categories winning gold,” he said.

He further said some of the team’s best athletes were too preoccupied by finding sponsorship for the trip and had very little time to prepare for the actual games.

“We didn’t have a proper camp as most of our athletes were busy running around trying to source funds for the trip to Birmingham and, some of our best performing athletes were left behind due to lack of funds,” said Caiphus.

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“However despite this sabotage, we’ll continue to perform and excel,” said the fiery BOKA SG.

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