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Botswana pins hope on Kenosi

12 Sep 2023

Botswana is pinning hope on female boxer, Keamogetse Kenosi who faces Sakobi Matshu of the Democratic Republic of Congo today at the ongoing Paris 2024 Boxing Africa Qualifiers in Dakar, Senegal. 

Botswana had sent a total of five boxers, all of whom lost their bouts on Monday except female boxer, Kenosi (57kg).

In an interview, Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA)secretary general, Taolo Tlouetsile said all was not lost for the team to qualify for the Paris Olympics next year as it still has two more chances at qualifying, being the World qualifications tournaments in Busto Arzizio, Italy from February 29 to March 12 and Bangkok, Thailand from May 23 to June 3.

“Should we still fail to qualify at these championships, we will still have another chance through what is called University places, although this is a kind of a gamble as federations have to apply after qualifications. That is also dependent on whether there were any available slots to be filled up,” he said.

 He further said although they were not trying to give an excuse for the boxers’ performance at the qualifiers, the poor showing may be partly due to the fact that they did not get adequate preparations as they would have desired.

“We cannot say preparations were adequate because we proposed a local and an international training camp before the competition.

Unfortunately the local training camp was not funded and the last time the team competed was three months ago at the World Championships,” he said.

Tlouetsile said some of the boxers at the Dakar tournament, such as Kabo Seitshiro and Kenosi did not even take part in the world champs.

 He said the country also failed to send a team to the AFBC Championships in Yaounde, Cameroon last month, which he said could have assisted coaches to assess the team and fix areas that needed attention ahead of the qualifiers.

Although he indicated that as an association they were disappointed that the team has been eliminated, he pleaded with the nation not to be too harsh on the association or the boxers as they lost just like anyone who went to a battle would.

“We sent a team to the competition and despite the loss, we still have trust in their abilities.

The fact that the boxers lost on points rather than TKOs or abandoned due to surrender (ABD) should be seen as a positive sign.

Should we have lost by either of the two, then we would be speaking a different language, so we lost with dignity,” said Tlouetsile.Tlouetsile also said they were not expecting the team to get immediately into camp from Senegal considering that the next qualifiers were only in February next year, but said that they would ensure that there were some activities before then to keep the boxers busy.

He also urged Batswana to continue supporting the team as they were still confident that it would perform well in the future.

The team comprised of George Molwantwa (57kg), Rajab Mohammed (51kg) and Seitshiro and two female boxers, Aratwa Kasemang (60kg) and Kenosi.

The team is expected back home on September 17. Ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Olekantse Sennamose

Location : Gaborone

Event : Interview

Date : 12 Sep 2023