Mosupiemang: Karate’s new kid on the block

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BONGANI MALUNGA

A multiple BISA champion, a national champion and a regional double gold medal winner, all at the tender age of 20 years old, karate sensation Gofaone Mosupiemang is on his way to cementing his place among the country’s best athletes. Mosupiemang became a senior competitor last year and he has already amassed over 13 medals in the last seven years in junior and senior school competition as well as the national team.
He credits multi medal winning African champion and BNSC Sportsman of the Year Ofentse Bakwadi as his inspiration. Bakwadi has taken the youngster under his wing ever since the SSKB Hayashi Ha federation discovered him years ago.
He started competing in the under 67kg category but he was advised to bulk up and participate in a larger weight category given the intense competition, the move was deliberate as it sped up his development and made him a household name in the under 75kg category.
“I started my karate journey at the age of 13, I was influenced by the likes of Ofentse Bakwadi who I saw collecting numerous medals and awards and this made me want to follow the same path. Karate is a passionate sport which has taught me discipline and respect. I started as a struggling athlete but I never gave up, I worked on my weaknesses until I gradually improved. I collected 6 medals at BISA level and I have won medals in the senior national team too. The next step is to do well in continental championships, fighting against some of the continent’s best is a true test, it doesn’t scare me, it motivates me. I have to work extra hard to make a mark in continental contests,” Mosupiemang told Gazette Sport.
Mosupiemang is the current national under 75kg champion, a title he assumed after defeating talented karate star Oratile Caiphus in the final of the last BOKA national championship. The youngster earned his first medals in the senior team in the Cape Town Open last year as he won a gold medal in the team kumite and silver in individual kumite.
A week ago he participated in the AUSC Region 5 competition, a regional contest for Southern African teams, Team Botswana walked away with a total tally of 43 gold medals, 27 silver medals and 15 bronze medals. Mosupiemang walked away with two gold medals in the competition, winning a gold medal in single competition and another team gold medal in the kumite contest.
He defeated a Zimbabwean opponent in the first round, a South African opponent in the second round and also defeated fellow countryman Caiphus in the final to bag a gold medal in the individual competition. Mosupiemang is set to participate in his first continental competition in the upcoming Union Federation of Africa (UFAK) Championships on August 31 in Rwanda. The karate sensation told this publication that he has been studying videos of his African opponents and he will relish testing himself against the continent’s best.