Gaborone District had, as of yesterday, a firm grip of proceedings at the Botswana Games which are underway in the capital.
At the time of going to press, the district had 41 medals followed by former champions, Francistown and Central at 21 medals each.
Gaborone had received most of their medals from swimming, where they collected 16 gold, eight silver and eight bronze.
The district had one silver and two bronze from athletics, with karatekas providing three silver and three bronze.
Francistown had eight gold, three silver and 10 bronze medals. Central had five gold, eight silver and eight bronze. At the bottom is Kgalagadi and Gantsi districts who had failed to clinch a single medal since the competition started on Monday.
Gaborone Games team manager, Gaontebale Malete told Mmegi Sport that when the games started, they had some reservations due to the way their preparations went. He said initially they had wanted to challenge for the title, but preparations had some obstacles.
“I had to talk to my team, tell them that they should be independent and believe that they can do this. Indeed my words reached home and the medal ranking proved that yesterday,” he said.
Malete said they expect to win more medals because they had qualified for the finals in other codes.
He said the swimming team did well as the swimmers train together all the time and they understand each other.
He said now it is time for relevant authorities to set up structures meant to retain athletes. He said in most instances, it is difficult to follow up athletes after they complete school.
Batshedi Tsai from Gantsi said he was disappointed by the performance of his team. He said they had done everything they could to
“I am really disappointed especially by the volleyball and basketball teams.
We expected them to bring us medals because of the way they played during the elimination stage at district level. But here we were knocked out in the first round,” he said.
Tsai said the other challenge they faced is that some of the athletes did not turn up for training, which meant they brought second stream teams. He said the timing of the games did not do them any favour because Form Threes and Fives have long left school, which means they came to the games rusty.
“I cannot blame (fatigue due to) the distance we travelled from Gantsi because we are used to it. But the fact that we were not able to track down some of our best athletes affected us. We brought a team of 85 while other districts like Central had more than 200,” Tsai said. He said their target was to win 10 medals, which was going to be an improvement from the five they won in 2015.
For his part, Central district team manager, Obonetse Kolanyane said their target was to improve from position six and make it to the top three.
She said it seems that target is a hand reach considering their current position. Kolanyane said she was however impressed by her team’s performance.
Medal standings as of 12/13/2017
North West 11
South East 9
North East 3