Botswana: Fencing Selects National Team

| July 4, 2016

Botswana's first Fencing master, Karabo Thobega led his team to glory during the Botswana Amateur Fencing Federation national championships in Gaborone over the weekend.

The 19-year-old Thobega of Tlokweng Club came tops in all the competitions he took part in scooping a gold medal in the senior men epee, junior men epee and senior men foil category.

His team mates who are also his students came second to their instructor.

There was not much competition under foil since only three athletes vied for the national team spot. Thobega secured the first spot while Onkarabile Keromang and Bonno Louis clinched second and third respectively.

As for the senior epee, deputising Thobega was Tirelo Mokibe while Keromang came third and Thabang Bogatsu was on fourth place.

Under junior men epee Ofentse Mooketsi came second of Thobega, while Laone Lesajane and Mothusi Mogami settled for bronze medals.

On the ladies side, Thabile Pilane won gold on the senior epee catergory, while Lorato Mokgoro, Thandie Molopong came second and third and Nonofo Rammala took forth position.

All the athletes who secured top four were selected as national fencing team with about 25 fencers making the quota. With over 40 athletes taking part from four different clubs, president of the Botswana Amateur Fencing Federation Gaolatwe Mudungo praised the championship as a success.

He said it was a milestone for them since it was the first time in which they had been able to pull such a crowd for the championships.

He said athletes came out to try their luck to secure national team spot and they did quite good surpassing their expectations.

Gaolatwe said he was impressed by Serowe Fencing Clubs, a new development with young fencers who have been recently unearthed and for the first time took part in a competition.

He explained that Serowe community have responded well and seemed to have taken a good step towards realising their dream of growing the fencing sport in Botswana.

Mudongo also said the national team selection is a timed approach to prepare for the upcoming youth and commonwealth games. He further said those who were selected for the national team over the weekend will participate in the Johannesburg and Cape Open in South Africa.

"We also intend to participate in the Windhoek Open in Namibia. We really now have to expose our athletes to higher level of competitions so they can gain experience," he said.

Mudungo expressed optimism with the future of fencing in Botswana. He said he was quite confident that soon medals would be won for Botswana.

For her part, Pilane said her journey started in 2013 and she was lucky to have taken part in 2014 youth games that were held in Botswana which she finished at position five.

The 19- year- old Pilane said since then she never looked back as she kept improving her performance. For her to come first and winning gold, she said it was because of hard work inspired by her coach master Thobega.

She said her aim was to elevate the stairs to professional fencing to a point she can compete at international events.

Thobega also shared Mudongo's sentiments that he was happy about the way young fencers were coming up. He explained that fencing sport has a bright future in Botswana only that it needs to be nurtured.

He said on his side it was quite a challenge to jungle between coaching and also training. At the age of 19, Thobega is a master and a player, and is yet to reach his peak.

He added that it takes a lot of hard work and perseverance for him to keep up, citing that fencing needs a bit of time to master.

Source: Botswana Daily News

Category: General

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