KWF prepares world cup

18th August 2017
DYNAMIC DUO: Tlotlang and Panakie are heading for Malta. Source:The Midweek Sun

Two local athletes Tlotlang Theetso and Panakie Thoolebe are all set to represent the country at the 2017 Karatenomich Federation (KWF) World Cup and Conference scheduled for Malta on the 28th September. This week two of the athletes Theetso (U60 kg) and Thoolebe (68kg) said they are ready to take on the world in Malta. Following their impressive performance over the weekend during the Botswana KWF championships held in Gaborone the U18 team athletes said they are aiming to shock their more fancied opponents in the European nation.

Theetso recently won gold in individual Kumite and bronze in Kata while Thoolebe settled for silver after losing to the experienced Lame Hetanang in a local tournament. The duo is from Jwana Karate Academy in Moshupa. Both athletes train under the watchful eye of Sensei Mompati Mpebe who also happens to be KWF Botswana chairperson. Theetso (20) said he will stop at nothing to ensure that he comes home with a medal.

“ I am looking forward to giving my best, I have prepared thoroughly for the tournament and I feel that I am ready to lock heads with the best in Malta,” Theetso said. Theetso has been one of the hardest working athletes in the under 60kg. However his hard work finally paid off last week Sunday where he was honoured with a black belt. However the young lad did not shy away from disclosing his dissatisfaction with the Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) refereeing panel. “It is a complicated issue, they are not doing enough to sharpen us as athletes. According to Theetso the refereeing panel is not fair at all. “There is a lot of club favouritism and that does not sit well with most of us,” he said.

The outspoken athletes said they long aired their grievances with their club leadership but were told to rather focus on playing Karate and refrain from politics. Meanwhile Thoolebe said he would be looking to finish in top three positions. “I m ready, I did not perform to my level best in the open championship, I gave Hetanang too much respect.” For his part Mpebe rubbished the issue of unfair refereeing and club favouritism.“ As a referee by qualification I do not feel there is any favouritism normally when a child loses a match, they resort to pinning the blame on referees but in my view it is all fair,” Mpebe said.

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