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Table tennis’ players in rankings battle

CALISTUS KOLANTSHO
Rebatenne is the top ranked women's player PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG
Table tennis has stepped up preparations for next year’s Region 5 Games. In line with that an Open tournament is scheduled for the Botswana National Youth Council (BNYC) Hall in Gaborone on Saturday and Sunday.

Lesotho hosts the 9th edition of the games in Maseru. The Botswana Table Tennis Association (BTTA) has organised the tournament to prepare the national team that will represent the country in Lesotho.

Eyes will be on who emerges as the top ranked player after a weekend of what should be a fierce tournament.

The event is also a ranking tournament and has various categories that include the women and men doubles, mixed doubles and singles for the elite as well as the Under-21 section.

BTTA spokesperson, Tiro Motswagole said competition would run the whole day on Saturday, while a shorter program has been scheduled for Sunday. Tshenolo Mooketsi and Tshepiso Rebatenne who are currently ranked number one in the men and women singles categories respectively, go into the tournament with the aim of maintaining their positions.

“We expect some upsets tomorrow because we expect other players to give Rebatenne and Mooketsi a run for their money,” Motswagole said.

“It is not an obvious thing that they would be at the top for long. A few points separate them from their runner ups and the table can be turned around in just one tournament.”

All eyes

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will be on the Smash Maniacs player, Boitshwarelo Butale who is likely to topple Rebatenne after winning the Independence grand finale, which saw her win four tournaments in a row, and one more win would see her reclaim the number one spot. Rebatenne told Mmegi Sport that she has been working hard because her aim is to win the tournament and keep her number one position.

“I am not worried about the competition. I have been training so all I have to do tomorrow is to implement what I have been doing at training. I have gained my confidence back,” she said.

In the men’s singles, Boago Malobela will be looking to reign once more and put an end to Mooketsi’s dominance. For his part, Malobela said he has been training everyday at BNYC Hall since last week.

He said he knows what to expect from his opponents especially Mooketsi and Bakang Mabote. He said they have been playing together for some years.

“We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. All I have to do is to up my game, focus and make sure that I win my game,” he said.



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