Botswana: Khama Hails Athletes for Sterling Performance

Gaborone — Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Tshekedi Khama has congratulated athletes, who participated at the just ended African Games in Morocco for their sterling performance.

Speaking at the welcome ceremony held recently, Khama challenged the business community to play a role in the developemnt of sport as governemnt could not do it alone.

He further highlighted that it was important to pay attention to performing sporting codes adding that issues of gender equality should also be addressed.

Meanwhile, the team, which came 13th out of 41 countries, which took part, amassed a total of 14 medals in different sporting codes.

The African games, formally known as the All African games or the Pan African games are a continental multi-sport event held every four years.

The games are organised by the African Union with the Association of National Olympic committee of Africa and the Association of African sports confederation.

The Morocco edition was the 12th and proved to be the breeding ground of champions across the African continent, Botswana included.

The likes of Nijel Amos, Amantle Montsho and Isaac Makwala are some of the locals who went through these games to mark their entry into the world of sport.

In Morocco, the local lads managed to amass five gold, three silver and six bronze.

The local lads continued their dominance in the 400m race as Leungo Scotch clinched gold in the male category while on the other hand Galefele Moroko did likewise in the women's category.

Scotch and Moroko's wins gave them tickets to the IAAF Doha world championships.

The men's 4x400m relay team showed their class when they sprinted to the podium as they clinched gold thanks to the well calculated run of Scotch in the last lap despite the absence of the likes of Baboloki Thebe and Karabo Sibanda.

Another gold medal was snatched by Mohammed Rajab of boxing, who had some gruelling bouts before being crowned the All-Africa games champion.

Karatekas had bad games as compared to previous editions where they amassed more medals than any other code.

They won four bronze medals through Ofentse Bakwadi in individual kata, male team kumite, female and male team's kata respectively.

This is the eighth time that Botswana attended the All-Africa games and scooped 74 medals thus far in all competitions.

For his part the Botswana National Olympic Committee acting president Tshepo Sitale said the team put up an impressive performance.

He pointed out that looking at the number of athletes that took part at the competitions and the number of medals, proportionally that was a good performance.

Team Botswana chef de mission, Bobby Gaseitsewe concurred with Sitale that the team outdid itself as it went to Morocco to compete rather than to participate.

He pointed out that though they took a young team, it was pleasing to note that most of them would in future earn the country some podium finishes.

Gaseitsiwe said looking back at the memory lane, team Botswana had grown and continue to grow, saying this was evidenced by the performance of the last edition.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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