There was no joy for Botswana boxers who took part in the Belgrade Memorial tournament this week, as they suffered early-round defeats.
Tokyo Olympic Games bound Mohammed Rajab Otukile and George Molwantwa were eliminated in the first and second round of the tournament, respectively.
The third local boxer, Keamogetse Kenosi did not box due to medical reasons.
Coach, Lechedzani ‘Master’ Luza said his boxers had come up against the solid competition.
He bemoaned lack of match fitness after the boxers had to dust off cobwebs due to inaction.
“(It was) very competitive and it was clear we lacked match fitness though our endurance was good. We need to compete more in order to improve our tactical approach because that is what gives one a win,” Luza said.
Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) public relations officer,
“We are happy with everything. The more we compete and go to international camps the more athletes improve their performances.
We are happy, so far Kenosi didn’t fight; it’s a concern although we understand that as it’s due to medical reasons. That is beyond the coaches,” Tlouetsile said.
Otukile is the only boxer who has booked his place at the Olympic Games.
He got a taste of what to expect at the Olympics when he faced a Commonwealth Games gold medallist, while Molwantwa was stopped by a highly rated Bulgarian opponent in the second round. The team returned home yesterday.