Botswana’s Karate Kids I, II, and III
As the Youth Games hot up and enter the final phase it looks like good news for TeamBW who are well within reach of their target 30-medal haul. The nation can be very proud and will no doubt throng the national stadium for the closing ceremony on the 31st May.
The first day of karate saw flying fists and high-kicks all landed perfectly in Boipuso Hall.
Botswana’s brave karatekas did not disappoint with one gold, one silver and one bronze medal to increase TeamBW’s tally to 22.
The medals came through Thabang Setshego with a gold from the individual kumite followed by Tlotlang Ponatshego’s silver in the individual kata and Wathuto Maake’s bronze from the ladies’ under 48kg individual kumite.
In a closely fought and fierce battle that brought the entire hall to its knees, Botswana’s Setshego was pitted against Congo’s Mbassa Lwanza and the local 17 year old completely out-classed his opponent and ended the final with an 8-2 lead.
Though the Congolese took a 2-1 lead in the opening minute, Setshego had other plans and came back strongly with two successive ura mawashi geri to finish him off in style.
The young warrior who could not hide his excitement as he told Voice Sport that it was his first big competition said, “These countries are tough competitors but the difference between me and them is that I don’t fear anyone, I only fear losing. Even when my opponent led I just told myself that if he can score one point then I can do one better,” he revealed.
Coach Sensei George Tshikare praised his athletes for showing character despite facing difficult countries from Zone 1 such as Egypt and Morocco who are regarded as power houses in Karate.
“All of my athletes are on their maiden major tournament but their level and performance is top notch! Look at Setshego for instance, he is one of the best young kickers in the country as he always get three out four kicks right, no matter what the circumstances. I knew that he would do well, especially after knocking Egypt and Algeria out,” he said.
The ever-enthusiastic Tshikare promised more medals in the next couple of days.
Team Botswana Chef De Mission, Mr Tshepo Sitale said, “The level of support that has been shown by Batswana demonstrates our regard for sport as a nation. We will definitely reach our 30 medals target, just today we got two golds from boxing and three in Karate but as you may be aware athletics has just started and we are expecting more medals from these athletes as well,” shared Sitale.