SELEBI- PHIKWE: The Francistown Bowling Club has successfully defended its National Bowls title after a week-long tournament that ended here on Saturday. The team collected 49points to finish ahead of runners-up, Selebi-Phikwe (42points) and third- placed Jwaneng (39).
Gaborone was a point behind Jwaneng while Orapa scooped the wooden spoon with a paltry 13points. Francistown bowling club chairman, Tony Darocha attributed their victory to a strong squad they have.
“Our club has the biggest membership in Botswana. We have junior bowlers and a strong team that helped the club to secure victory,” he said. Selebi-Phikwe bowlers, Binkie Gaborotwe will represent Botswana at the World Championship qualifiers in Cyprus later this year. Gaborotwe defeated defending champion, Pauline Lekone by 21 to 12 shots. Gaborotwe who finished second to Lekone last year, said she prepared well for the tournament. “I practised well because I have a dream of representing my country in the World Championships. “I wanted to make the team, so I tried my best to win,” she said.
Another Selebi-Phikwe bowler, Khumo Kebalatetse will represent Botswana in the men’s section in Cyprus after beating Baven Balendra of Francistown by 21 shots to 20. Kebalatetse said this year he trained hard in order to improve his game and win the title.
“Training hard helped me to improve my game. I feel proud to be a champion because I was playing against men who have previously represented Botswana in international competitions,” he said.
In the women’s pairs, Gaborotwe and Nelly Senna from Selebi-Phikwe were crowned champions after overcoming Gaborone’s pair of Lekone and Ivy Morton. The men’s pairs champions are Boitumelo Mosinyi and Adam Kesegofetse from Jwaneng who beat defending champions, Benis Des Desail and George Naik by nine shots to seven.
The trips discipline was won by Francistown A team represented by Obopile Ashby, Charmaine Hassen and Shenila Mohamed with nine points beating Tibone Bonnie Fox, Chakale Robert and Marea Modutlwa who had six points. In the men’s trips, the winners were Sonny Mbisana, Andre Van de Walt and Baven Balendra from Francistown .
The youngest bowler in the tournament Kgomotso Konyana (15) finished as the men’s trips runner-up and was voted player of the tournament. This year, the tournament prizes included the personality of the tournament, which was jointly won by Mareah Modutlwa of Gaborone and Tony David of Selebi-Phikwe.
Meanwhile, the national team, selected after the tournament, will play at the Peter Richardson International pairs in Francistown and Selebi-Phikwe before participating at the African States tournament in Lusaka, Zambia in September. Focus will then shift to the World Championship qualifiers in Cyprus scheduled for November next year.