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Table tennis targets gold at SA champs

Tshepiso Rebatenne PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE
The Botswana Table Tennis Association (BTTA) is going for gold at the South African Championship to be held in Mangaung, South Africa.

The competition will mark a return of competitive table tennis in South Africa and is scheduled to take place from today until tomorrow. Speaking to Mmegi Sport, BTTA public relations officer Tiro Motswasele said they are looking to better their performance at the AUSC Region V games held in Lesotho last year. The competition broke BTTA's four-year hiatus from international competitions. At the Lesotho held competition, BTTA brought home 12 medals finishing in an overall second position.

The team, however, failed to secure a gold medal at the competition. "Following the display by our athletes last time in Lesotho, we are expecting gold medals for both men and women's singles," Motswasele said. BTTA is sending a four-member team for the championship, two athletes per category. BDF club's budding talent, Constance Kuswane has booked her place in the team alongside top-ranked Tshepiso Rebatenne as former

national champion, Boitshwarelo Butale misses out. There is another shocker in the men's section as former number one Tshenolo Mooketsi also missed the trip, as the current leading player Boago Malobela will be representing the country alongside Bakang Maloka, who has had a splendid year on the table.
"The coaches do not select the team, the players book their spots from the national team selection tournament in which both top two ranked players in each category qualify for the national team," Motswasele said.

The men's team is under the tutelage of Tshepo Modisane whilst Kola Modisaotsile guides the women's team. The local players will be eyeing to land the R2,000 (approximately P1,500) prize money. Meanwhile, Rebatenne and Maloka ended the year on a high after the BTTA Final Showdown in the previous weekend. It was Maloka's first tournament win this season.


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