Botswana Misses World Bridge Champs Berth

| May 15, 2015

The national bridge team has failed on its final push to place a berth at the biggest events of card games penciled for the small city of Chennai in eastern India in September.

The team, composed of three pairs of Letsogile Mafa and Keoagile Chamo, Mbakisi Malilo and Prince Ramoseki and the final pair of Tebogo Kubanji and Glod Maele, could only complete the lineup of the four competing teams with a paltry 26.57 victory points after completion of the first 14 round robin in the open team event.

Despite a disappointing display, Botswana’s moment of brilliance came against the continents bridge powerhouses Egypt and South Africa at one point managing to bid the highest contract, the grand slam, but indecisiveness and lack of a consistent game plan cost them dearly.

Nevertheless, the most promising thing about the youthful team was that they, on several occasions, registered a cumulative 30 points in a hand. Their only impressive score was against South Africa in a match that ended with Botswana on 5.2 victory points while their opponents went away with 14.58 on the 10th round.

They registered embarrassing score lines against South Africa twice and against the hosts while Egypt managed to sweep the stakes in all the three bridge events contested for.

In the Open category, the pairs of Hussein Sheif, Walid Elahmady, Ahmed Hussein and Bahem Ahmed had a cumulative 219.82 victory points while South Africa became runners up on 182.25 points with Tunisia finishing third ahead of Botswana.

They won the women category again followed by South Africa while the senior’s category Egypt won with Tunisia on the second spot. The Egyptian senior team had won the event since its inception and would be looking forward to defend their title in Cape Town in 2017. Winners and runners up have booked a ticket to the world event.

Meanwhile, Botswana has shown interest in bidding for the biennial event after the South Africa championships.

Botswana Bridge Federation (BBF) president, Mafa said they approached the African Bridge Federation about their intent and have been motivated to go all the way with their proposal.

Mafa explained that Botswana had shown ambition to host the oncoming 2017 event but due to administrative hiccups failed to.

Quizzed on logistics of preparing for a tournament of the African Bridge championship magnitude, Head of the Egyptian Organising Committee, Ahmed Zayed said they started working on preparations 12 months ago hence they hosted a successful tournament.

He said despite the absence of other member federations, they were honoured to have hosted a tournament of such magnitude and appealed for publicity for the game.

The African Bridge Federations had expected at least seven countries to participate in the closely contested tournament but Kenya, Morocco and Reunion Republic did not show up citing several reasons including among others, security concerns and budgetary constraints. Zayed applauded Botswana for showing interest in hosting the event.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Sports

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