BOKA’s new generation emerges

14th February 2018
FULL CONTACT: BOKA is holding selections. Source:The Midweek Sun

National karate team coach Keone Kgorotlhe says the final selection of the senior national karate team scheduled for April 2018 will not be an easy task. In an interview this week, Kgorotlhe said junior Karatekas are threatening to give most of the senior athletes a serious run for their money during the selection process. Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) training hall was action packed this past weekend with young athletes, embarrassing senior in the epic battle to make the final cut.“Our under 21 category is proving to be a formidable team that is promising to eliminate some of our senior athletes in the near future. Gone are the days when an athlete would retain a championship title year in and out,” Kgorotlhe said.

Fresh faces in the senior category that caused major upsets during the tournament included the likes of Oratile Nkhumisang, Quinton Mosupiemang, Tlotlang Ponatshego and Gaone Mothoyomotona amongst others. Nkhumisang showed no respect to the seasoned Lame Hetanang and defeated her in the female under 55kg Kumite. Mothoyomotona also had a point to prove when she embarrassed the highly decorated female karateka Thato Malunga, knocking her out in the first round of the 55kg Kumite top four selection. He said from the tournament it became evident that most of their senior athletes were not fit and get tired easily. Moreover, the coach said even athletes technique was a bit rusty which calls for more effort during training.

According to Kgorotlhe, BOKA is in for a very competitive year if the young athletes maintain the momentum. “Even our Africa Champion Ofentse Bakwadi was at one point shaken by the rising star Tlotlang Ponatshego in the male kata, it was a very close contest,” he said. In Kgorotlhe’s view, war will undoubtedly erupt on the final day especially in the under 60 and 75kg male category, “There is great potential and we might even be forced to ask the Association to increase the number of athletes in this category. Most of them have been in the national team for sometime, “ Kgorotlhe noted.

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