FRANCISTOWN: Team Orapa emerged the strongest in the annual northern Powerlifting Championships held at Galo Mall over the weekend. Six teams competed while only two individuals without clubs were registered to be in the running. Team Francistown, Thebephatshwa, Jwaneng, Orapa, Glen Valley, SSKB Mogoditshane and Body Chem Gym Centre were the six registered teams.
The team from the mining town scooped; best lightweight, light heavyweight and the overall best winner awards, missing out only on two.
Orapa’s Lelana Mphetolang won the overall best in the lightweight category followed by Francistown’s Thopho Kgetsiyamore who has dominated in past competitions while Oarabile Moathodi of SSKB came third. In the middleweight classification, Kebonyekgotla Ronkwane of Glen Valley came in first, Jwaneng’s Moemedi Masole second and Caiphus Kapimpa of Glen Valley took third place.
Orapa’s 22-year-old Kabo Morobane, the youngest competitor, scooped first place in the light heavyweight category, followed by his teammate Bakanani Laba and Jong Rakgantshwane of Francistown in third position.
Only three competitors battled it out in the super heavyweight category. Tsebo Kedimotse of Jwaneng showed his strength by lifting the heaviest weights of the day when he bench pressed 180kg and then raised the bar higher and above all competitors on the squats with a 280kg lift before finally taking 230kg dead lift, which was the best of the day.
Tsebo won the super heavyweight category followed by Orapa’s Kagiso Mafocha with Andries Dutoit third. However, the overall best winner went to Lelana as Orapa continued to shine on the day.
In all categories, the first prize pocketed P1,000; second prize P750 and third P500, while the overall winner pocketed P1,000. Team north assistant manager, Christopher Boshomane said they encourage individuals and other teams to take part in the competition. “We have a problem of sponsors and due to low monetary benefits many competitors are still dragging their feet. I would encourage them to compete for the benefit of their fitness. We have a good number of competitors in the powerlifting sport. “We have affiliated with BNSC (Botswana National Sports Commission) and in future we want to be representing the country in world competitions. It is through these platforms that we will be selecting representatives for our national team, so I encourage all powerlifters to compete in these tournaments,” said Boshomane.