The Monitor :: Bakwadi Biggest Winner As Karate Awards Return
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Last Updated
Friday 08 December 2017, 17:25 pm.
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Bakwadi Biggest Winner As Karate Awards Return

When Tshepho Bathai was given a second chance to lead the Botswana Karate Association (BOKA), one of the promises he made to the affiliates was that he was going to re-introduce the karate awards, last held a decade ago.
By Calistus Kolantsho Mon 04 Dec 2017, 15:14 pm (GMT +2)
The Monitor :: Bakwadi Biggest Winner As Karate Awards Return








In living up to his promise, on Saturday the karate family gathered at the Cresta Lodge in Gaborone to honour its outstanding sons and daughters.

Ofentse Bakwadi emerged as the night’s biggest winner, bagging two gongs for the senior male karateka of the year and karateka of the year. Shaykex as he is affectionately known, faced tough competition for the senior male karateka award, as he was up against Oratile Caiphus and Lemogang Koolopile. The senior female karateka of the year category had strong contenders in Lame Hetanang and Merylin Manthe, but it was Hetanang who emerged victorious.
Bakwadi told Monitor Sport he was excited about his achievement and it was a sign of hard work.

“I am motivated and if you work hard you can get to any point you want. I train hard, I am disciplined and stick to my schedule. I
do not come up with excuses,” he said.

Bakwadi believes he edged his competitors after he performed well at the Africa Championship, Zone VI and Hayashi-Ha World Championship. He said in a few weeks, he will kick-start his 2018 programme. Bakwadi said he might go for training camps in the United States of America and Australia in preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games qualifiers, which start in June.

For her part, Hetanang said the award was long overdue and she had worked hard for it. She said her commitment to karate is being rewarded.

“I had a good year and some of the medals I won, are gold medal for

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kata at Zone VI, gold medal for individual kumite for under 50kg and a silver medal for team kumite at the same championship,” she said.

Hetanang said next year she intends to attend Paris Open, which is held in January and also compete in the Seniors World Cup. She said her dream is to be part of the karate team that would compete at the 2020 Olympic Games. The junior male karateka award winner, Thabang Setshego said his results from local tournaments, the Africa and World Championships were positive. Setshego said he did not have a good 2016, hence losing out in the Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) awards. He said the plan is to remain focussed and continue to work hard.

Shihan Mpho Bakwadi who walked away with the referee of the year award appreciated the awards initiative, saying it was motivating.

“This would encourage other referees to attain higher qualifications. I officiated in local tournaments before proceeding to Zone VI where I sit in the referees’ commission. I also officiated at the Africa Championship which was held in Cameroon,” he said.

He said his ultimate goal is to officiate at the Tokyo 2020 Games.

Other award winners are: Junior female karateka (Lentle Tanyala),
Coach of the year (Otto Tafa), Team of the year (Hayashi senior male
team-kata), Federation of the year (Botswana Kofukan Federation),
Presidential award (Fatima Khan) and Long service award (Million
Masumbika).

Media awards: Print journalist (Calistus Kolantsho-Mmegi/ The Monitor),

Radio award (Gaone Kerileng-Gabz FM) and Electronic award (Btv).

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