The 15 member strong squad that Botswana sent to Swaziland for the Southern Africa Judo Championships has returned with a haul of 16 medals, more than triple the initial target of five.
The team overreached itself by plundering four gold, six silver and six bronze to leave coach, Kingsley Segokotlo elated. So accomplished was the performance that Segokotlo felt the team could have done better. “We did well, but could have done better.
Our athletes were not training daily because of the school exams. That affected our performance,” he said from Swaziland yesterday.
The junior team won three gold, three silver and five bronze on Saturday before their seniors got five medals on Sunday.
Min Young Kim in the junior girls grabbed two gold medals, while Gavin Mogopa (junior boys) won a gold and silver. Last year’s Africa Youth Games silver medallist, Thato Lebang weighed in with a silver and bronze.
Two players, Matshidiso Chakalisa and Lucky Mabaka won their first caps at the championships.
Seven countries- South Africa, Malawi, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Seychelles joined the hosts Swaziland for the weekend tournament.
Though Mabaka made her debut in Swaziland, she is no stranger to the national team set-up. She was part of the team, which participated in the Region V competition in Zimbabwe last year.
The Botswana team:
Cadet boys: Bakang Baitshenyetsi, Moyana Otukile and Omolemo Molwelwa
Cadet girls: Lucky Mabaka, Matseliso Chakela
Junior boys: Gavin Mogopa, Tirelo Lekoko, and Thato Lebang, Thobile Bogatsu and Thabang Mofokeng
Junior girls: Min Young Kim
Senior men: Kgosipula Kaupa, Advent Monyatsiwa, and Lesedi Bewlay
Senior women: Tiroyaone Kapeko and Neo Kapeko