Sparks flew this weekend at the Botswana Table Tennis Association (BTTA) national team trials held at the BNYC hall.
Three spots were available in the men and women teams for the All Africa Games scheduled for later this year. The games attracted a good turn out of players as tried their luck at the open trials.
The trials were called on at the 11th hour as BTTA had to meet the Botswana National Sports Commission’s team list submission deadline which is today (Monday).
The trials were played in a round robin system as four players in each section advanced to the final day of the selection. Despite fierce competition the women’s section did not pull any surprises as regulars, Tshepiso Rebatenne, Oratile Kedisaletse and Boitshwarelo Butale booked their spots on the team.
On the men’s section, the youngsters dominated the series as Masa Lesole, Bakang Maloka and Tshenolo Mooketsi secured their places on the team. However, speaking to this publication on Sunday, national team coach , Tshepo Modisane was an unimpressed man. He said the players are not match ready due to inactivity in the local table tennis tournament.
“The standard was high but as high as we wanted it to be, as table tennis we have not been active as we should be. But we have so many games lined up and that will help in conditioning our players. They will ready them for the All Africa Games. From here we are going to work on our game plan and we will be having training camps that will come up fortnightly.” “We have a lot of work to do because of lack competition but I think by the time we go there we will be ready. The players that we have in the team have shown a lot of composure a lot of maturity. We should be happy with the team but there is a lot of work to be done,” Modisane said.
BTTA will host a ranking tournament over the weekend and this form part of the preparations for the continental games.