Local boxers will continue their preparations for the All Africa Games (AAG) when the national team travels to Morocco tomorrow for the Africa Boxing Championships. The AAG takes place in Congo, Brazzaville from September 3 to 10.
The Morocco competition starts next week Tuesday and runs until Sunday. The Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) spokesperson, Kenny Maragana told Mmegi Sport yesterday that they are sending a team of eight men and one woman to Morocco.
He said the team is in good shape and they expect them to do well. Maragana added that the team has been together for some time and the trip to Casablanca should improve their skills.
The team trained with Lesotho for two consecutive weeks in July and Botswana boxers dominated all the bouts. Maragana said they had wanted South Africa to participate in the training programme, but unfortunately that was not possible.
He said Botswana and South Africa have established a working relationship aimed at developing boxers in the two countries.
He said the two countries signed a working bilateral agreement in June. “Boxing in South Africa is on a higher level compared to here. They have good facilities and working with them will benefit our boxers.
“We intend to use the opportunity we have been granted as an association,” he said. Maragana said the training camps with Lesotho assisted a lot in terms of fitness and tactics.
“We have kept the same boxers that brought six gold and four silver medals from the Zone IV tournament held in South Africa recently,” said Maragana.
He said the only woman in the team, Keneilwe Rakhudu is expected to have a good competition as she is the defending Zone VI champion. He said Rakhudu has shown growth as a boxer over the years.
On the other hand, Maragana said they expected more from the 2015 Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC) awards nominee, Kagiso Bagwasi who will fight in the 64kg. He said Bagwasi’s nomination was an indication the boxer is excelling both locally and internationally. He said BoBA does not want to send half-baked boxers to the AAG. Maragana said the games are the highest stage on the continent hence the need to be on top of their game.
The squad to Morocco:
Men: Tefo Rammupudu (49kg), Thabiso Mpolokeng (52 kg), Bagwasi (60kg), Kefentse Molalapata (56kg), Kagiso Bagwasi (64 kg), Mmusi Tswiige (69 kg), Zibani Chikanda (75 kg) and Thabang Motsewabeng who will fight in the 81 kg category.
Woman: Rakhudu (64 kg and 69 kg)
Technical team: Emmanuel Galeboe (coach), Lechedzani Master Luza (coach)
Team manager: Phetogo Tsheko.