Botswana karate star Ofentse Bakwadi has vowed to use the 2019 All Africa Games in Morocco as a benchmark for his upcoming 2020 Olympic qualification tournaments to be held in Chile, Japan, Spain (Madrid) and France (Paris).
Bakwadi is aiming to qualify for the Tokyo 2022 Olympics and he believes that the Morocco tournament will be yet another chance for him to prepare for more qualification tournaments while cementing his place as the best in the continent again. He will be competing in the individual male kata and the male team kata alongside Vincent Magaile and Boemo Ramasimong.
“My preparation for the All Africa games has been good. We have been on camp at Oasis since the 1st of August and I have been training twice a day. The plan is to improve my performance from the just ended UFAK Africa Karate Championships whereby I finished third, I am going for gold this time around,” Bakwadi told Gazette Sport.
Bakwadi listed three major rivals who he will have to overcome to win a gold medal. “Morocco, Egypt and Algeria are my main rivals and I need to beat them to the podium summit. In terms of the team kata, we finished third in our last competition and we are aiming to improve on that as well,” Bakwadi added.
Team Botswana will be competing at the All Africa Games in over 12 different categories. The female team kumite comprises of Oratile Nkhumisang, Lethabo Sekano, Thabang Maleke and Centy Kgosikoma.
The male team kumite is made up of Thebe Duna, Katlego Tsenene, Lemogang Koolopile, Tlotlang Ponatshego, Gabriel Ramasimong, Dan Batlhomilwe and Mogakolodi Motlhabi. The team coaches are Christopher Ponatshego and Keone Kgorotlhe. In 2015, Team Botswana collected 5 medals at the All Africa Games and this year they are on a mission to collect more.