The Botswana Defence Force (BDF) will on Wednesday (March 25) send four karatekas to the much fancied tournament the Kofukan World Cup.
Captain, Orchard Kgosieile, who will travel with the team as an athlete and also overseeing the team’s welfare, said in an interview that as part of BDF’s efforts to promote fine athletes within their institutions, they had always supported karate.
BDF has produced some of the finest karatekas in the country in the mould of Chief Instructor Sensei Million Masumbika, Peter Molefhe, George Tshikare and Otto Tafa amongst others. Kgosieile said they now intend to reproduce the legacy left behind by these former stars.
Travelling to the southern coastal city of Asker in Norway for the tournament is Oratile Caiphus, Mogakolodi Motlhabi, Nelson Matshamekwane and Kabelo Molefhe. However, Molefhe is not part of the BDF arrangement but was helped financially by local car dealers Car Wings with transport and accommodation logistics.
SSKB’s 26-year-old Karateka, Caiphus brings a wealth of experience in the international scene. The well-built karateka packs a front kick or mae geri of a street fighter.
He broke into competitive ranks at a tender age of 10 convincing the national team scouts with his fighting prowess and soon represented the country in regional and international meets.
His biggest break was a bronze medal at the closely contested Africa karate championships in Cape Town in 2010. Before that Rati as he is affectionately known in karate was voted the best junior male of the year in 2007.
He experienced the Kofukan world cup when he travelled to Denmark in 2006 and then went to Serbia for the World Karate Federation champs. He will represent Botswana in the u75kg in a zone VI tournament in Durban in May.
Sensei Kabelo Molefhe , 28 of Glenvalley is also in fine form. The second Dan black belt karateka broke into national team colors in 2010 but took a break from competitive tournaments due to other commitments.
He made a comeback last year and made an immediate impact. He has been impressive in local bouts posting shocking results against tried and tested karatekas such as Ofentse Bakwadi who is trailing him in the national championship league.
Molefhe is one of the gold prospects for the u67kg and also travelled abroad in search of glory in the past. He has been to Moscow, Russia and Serbia amongst others.
In the u84kg will be another former wonder kid Mogakolodi Motlhabi. Ace, as Motlhabi is fondly called took bronze at 14 years in the Zone VI games in 2001 hosted in Gaborone. He was crowned as the best karateka in the annual BDF inter-formation tournament.
He was part of the team that took part in the All Africa Games in Mozambique in 2011. His biggest break in international competitions was a gold and silver he took in Durban at the World Cup.
Matshamekwane is also in serious contention for top honors. He also took part in the Durban cup and has been on impressive form in the local league.
Source : BOPA
Source : Botswana Daily News