Gaborone — Botswana karatekas are sharp and ready to start their fight and defend the Africa Union Sport Council (AUSC) Region 5 karate they won in Mozambique last year.
Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) has assembled a strong contingent of karatekas for the annual regional karate championships to be staged at the Boipuso Hall today until Monday.
The senior national team and the junior team underwent a joint training programme in the past months to brace for the closely contested regional tournament.
The two teams have an impressive history at the matches having won the last two tournaments held in Zimbabwe and Mozambique in 2016 and last year respectively.
At least seven countries had confirmed participation namely Zimbabwe, Angola, Zambia, Namibia, Mozambique, South Africa and the hosts Botswana.
BOKA has called into camp some of the finest and most promising young talent to defend the title.
The male senior team kata comprises of Kitso Thomas, Thebe Duna and Tlotlang Ponatshego. The latter is also expected to accompany Ofentse Bakwadi to challenge for the male individual kata.
The male team kumite has called to camp Kabelo Molefhe, Teto Wakwena, Tirafalo Tsimamma and Katlego Tsenene.
Tried and tested, Thato Malunga and Lame Hetanang will challenge for the female individual kata while Thebe Duna and Wamorena Metswi will fight for the under21 male kata.
Other interesting categories are the ladies team kata where the on form Otshepheneg Kgosibodiba, Ingrid Inger and Centy Kgosikoma lie in wait.
The junior team, which is also in serious contention, will look up to the likes of Gabriel Seleke and Kao Nsala to battle for gold in the 12-13 years individual kata and kumite category.
The 12-year-old Galaletsang Primary School pupil Seleke has been impressive in regional competitions since breaking into the national team two years ago.
He is expected to defend the title he won in Mozambique last year.
Meanwhile after the AUSC tournament, BOKA will prepare to host the UFAK championships next year.
Botswana won the bid to host the tournament last year in Cameroon. This year, the games will be played in Kigali, Rwanda.
Source : BOPA