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Mabote Returns To Ping-Pong

KABELO BORANABI
Bonolo Mabote PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG
Former Botswana table tennis number one, Bonolo Mabote has returned to the table after a long injury lay off. 

Mabote was involved in a horrific car accident in June 2018 in which he injured his ankle and a wrist.

The Smash Maniacs player, had to relinquish his top rank spot at the time thereby taking almost a two-year hiatus from the sport. However, he returned in November last year. Over the weekend, he bid for a national team spot in the national selection round four held at the BNYC hall.

Despite failing to secure a berth in the team on Saturday, Mabote remains hopeful though there is threat posed by the new crop of players.

“I still see my future in the national team. I am looking at these younger players and I think it is not going to be easy. They have brought a different dimension to the game. I found them evolved to a higher degree of playing and as such it is not going to be easy, but with my experience and the determination that I have, I believe I will get there. I still believe that I have a chance,” he said.

Mabote bemoaned lack of fitness as he bids to retain the number one as he crushed out in the group stages on the weekend’s competition.

“I stopped playing at around June 2018 because I broke my ankle. I took almost two years to recover. I came back to sport towards the

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end of 2019. I am not yet fit at the moment. I missed some tournaments, but I am back now. I am not at the level I want to be. Firstly, I have lost two years without training. It’s a very huge gap. Secondly, I do not train properly so my level of competitiveness is not as sharp as I want it to be. I am working on that at the moment,” he said,

The 36-year-old is not thinking of retirement despite being on the wrong side of the sport age-wise.

“I love table tennis. It is a sport that I have put before everything. This is why maybe I have kept doing well for this long. I have thought of it (retirement). But after thinking deeply about it, I changed my mind and returned to the sport. It is all because of the belief I have in myself,” he said.

Mabote picked current number one, Tshenolo Mooketsi to dominate local scenes for a long time. “He is agile and fast. I see him dominating table tennis. I am very impressed by the way he plays and handles himself.”

Meanwhile, Constance Kuswani became a new entrant in the national team after finishing second to Boitshwarelo Butale in the women’s section. Boago Malobela and Bakang Maloka booked their spots in the team in the men’s section.



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