The Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) had sent a team of four youngsters to the Junior African Championships in Tunisia last week. The foursome competed against Africa’s best young talents, and despite displaying strong performances, Khaya Groth was the only medal recipient from weeklong competition.
Last week Tuesday Groth travelled with Katlego Tsenene, Tirafalo Tsimamma and Tsholofelo Maduma under the guidance of Coach George Tshikare. The four athletes earned their place in the continental competition after winning gold medals at the Zone 6 Karate Championships; they were selected from a group of 28 local athletes.
Groth won a silver medal in the Kata category and also claimed a bronze medal in the Kumite contest. His medal wins have earned him a place in the World Karate Federation (WKF) Junior Championships in Madrid, Spain. The Madrid based tournament will take place in November and Groth will be Botswana’s only representative after satisfying the competition’s criteria by winning a medal at a continental level.
The youngster has enjoyed a successful year after collecting numerous medals in this year’s local karate tournaments and being nominated for the Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC) Awards’ Junior Male Athlete category.
BOKA Public Relations Officer, Jerry Ditlhong, told Gazette Sport that Groth’s international experience is the key to his success in Tunisia, “We sent a strong team to the Tunisian competition. Our squad was made up of SADC champions but the competition was very tough for those without much international experience as it was a learning curve for them. Khaya succeeded because he is accustomed to facing difficult opponents in his international bouts around the world,” said Ditlhong.
Meanwhile, Ditlhong revealed that BOKA will send the senior national team to the Commonwealth Karate Championships in Montreal, Canada next month. The competition will take place from the 7th -15th October.