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Young tennis players in Namibia for ITF/CAT tourney

KOKETSO KGOBOGE
Off to Windhoek: The Junior tennis team that will represent the country in Namibia
Botswana has sent 12 players to represent the country at the International Tennis Federation/ Confederations of African Tennis (ITF/CAT) Southern African Junior Championships in Windhoek, Namibia.

The eight-day tournament, which features players from across southern Africa, startes today and ends on January 19.

Botswana’s boys team has Sibusiso Quame, Oabona Koobatlile, Jonathan Gaetsaloe, Mark Nawa, Eesi Molefe, and Leagile Tommy in the boys’ team.

In the girls’ section, Botswana is represented by Cheludo Monnayoo, Neo German, Leungo Gaobotse, Lily Poelly, Atlang Chongwe and Mbali Qame.“Our expectations are high, this is talent we have been developing for some time now. They have enjoyed international exposure, and some of them are no strangers to this stage. We expect them to do well,” Botswana Tennis Association (BTA) spokesperson, Katlego Keagoletse said.

Team Botswana finished fifth in last year’s edition held in Pretoria, South Africa.

Botswana’s sensation, Denzel Seetso who led the team in South Africa, is the defending champion in the Under-14 category.

But the now 14-year-old is a notable absentee from the squad. This is depute being a top ranked Under-14 player in Africa after his exploits at the Africa Junior Championship (AJC) last year where he finished runners-up.

“He is on a four-weeks layoff as

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per the physio’s instruction due to the injury he sustained recently,” Keagoletse disclosed.

The injury came after a hectic campaign in the tennis courts across the globe in the past year.

Outside Africa, Seetso competed as far as the Under-14 Internationale Deutche Tennismeisterschaft in Germany, Open du Stade Francais in France, DunoAir Windmill Cup in Oosterbeek, Netherlands and recently the Eddie Her International Junior Tennis Championships and the Junior Orange Bowl in Florida, United States of America.

He reached the finals eight times in the nine African competitions in his run last year and was crowned champion four times. In his absences, Keagoletse said they would pin their hopes for the top positions, on the likes of Nawa and Koolatile. The duo has shown remarkable development with Nawa previously competing in the AJC and faring well.

“The tournament will also serve as a qualifying stage for the AJC billed for September and we expect our players to battle hard to secure their berths. Seetso will play in other stages to qualify after he recovers.”



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