The beleaguered Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) held a selection tournament for kata and kumite styles for various age categories over the weekend, with Thato Malunga and Ofentse Bakwadi once again dominating.
The tournament held at the University of Botswana (UB) student centre was the first in months following internal bickering within the association. The second leg will be held in Francistown on March 7, with the final stage in Gaborone on March 21. The three events will be used as selection tournaments for Zone VI and All Africa Games.
BOKA interim president, David Mathe said the tournament was supposed to be held at the end of last year, but they were not able to host hence it was staged this year.
The karate body was hit by internal bickering, which affected the smooth flow of operations towards the end of 2014. He said they want to spread the event through the country and this is why the next stage of the tournament will be in Francistown.
The official said the national team would be finalised after the conclusion of the three tournaments. Mathe said what made the tournament ‘special’ was that people were yearning for action after what BOKA has been going through.
He added that people were wondering whether the association would be able to host a good tournament.
All affiliates managed to send athletes. He said only about one out of nine failed to make it. The BOKA president said this was due to logistics as the team failed to submit names before the toss was made.
“Going forward, we believe the dust has settled. We will manage to succeed and achieve anything without challenges,” he said.
Mathe said the athletes who were at the tournament accumulated points and this will go on until the final tournament, adding that those with the highest points will be selected. The BOKA official said it would not be by default that one could grab gold in all the three stages. He rated the tournament as a success due to the high level of competition. “We thought competition was going to be low because the athletes have not been competing.
“But we have realised that eve though they were not competing, but have been training,” he said, adding that he was impressed with the attendance.