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Malobela, Mooketsi headline ping-pong final showdown

KABELO BORANABI
Rebatenne
Only two points separate the country’s top ranked table tennis players, Tshenolo Mooketsi and second best Boago Malobela as they aim to finish the year on a high note.

The pair, who has had a splendid year, promises an entertaining Botswana Table Tennis Association (BTTA) Final Showdown scheduled for Saturday at the BNYC Hall.

The tournament brings down the curtain on the 2020 BTTA season. Mooketsi is aiming for his third national championship title while Malobela will be hoping to be crowned the ‘King of the Table’ for the first time.

Despite being on top form since last season, Mooketsi had an Independence Grand Finale to forget as he was knocked out in the semifinals.

The lukewarm display saw the 23-year-old drop to second place as Malobela, who won the finale and top ranked the charts.  Mooketsi reclaimed his number one spot after scooping second place in a previous tournament in October, which was the fourth of the five national tournament seasons.

At the same tournament, Malobela had a topsy-turvy display and had to bow out in the semi-finals.

The youngster, however, faces stiff competition from third-placed Bakang Maloka.  The Smash Maniacs player has shown improved performances since the start of the year.

The number one spot is visibly out of the reach for the

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youthful player as he sits 47 points behind the leaders. He has one round win to his name this season.

In the women’s category, long time rivalry between Tshepiso Rebatenne and Boitshwarelo Butale is set to once again produce fireworks.

The duo has been inter-exchanging the number one spot throughout the season as neither of them has made the spot truly their own.

Rebatenne comes into the tournament with a slight 10 points advantage, as she will be looking to keep hold of the number one rank.

She bagged a tournament win in October and saw Butale dropping to second place since the finale in September.

It is also a tight contest for third place with Olorato Ramagapu who is the current number three hoping to hold off competition from fourth-placed Oratile Kedisaletse.

Just seven points separate the two players as the tournament promises to give the ping-pong fans a great send-off to the season.

In the men and women categories, the champions will pocket P2,000 while the second placed will go home with P1,000. The semifinalists and quarterfinalists will pocket P600 and P200 respectively.



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