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  • Say they received funds late
  • Local team finished with only two wins
  • Drops with one place to be ranked 14th in the World

TLOTLO KEBINAKGABO

Botswana Softball Association (BSA) mouthpiece Kelebogile Seitei has blamed poor preparations for Botswana’s disappointing performances at the just ended WBSC Men’s Softball World Championships which were held at Prague, Czech Republic.

This is after the local team registered only two wins at the championships; they suffered an 8-0 defeat at the hands of Argentina in their opening game before they walked over Philippines with a 3-0 win in their second encounter. They then suffered a loss in their third game when they were thrashed 6-0 by Cuba; they went on to suffer a 7-0 loss against New Zealand thereafter. Botswana’s woes at the championships persisted when Mexico handed them a 5-3 beating in their fifth game.

Botswana would later console themselves with a 4-2 win over hosts Czech Republic before receiving a 3-0 beating from Japan in their final group game. Having finished their group games with only two wins, Botswana then went on to play in the placement games where they were defeated 6-5 by Netherlands. Their loss against the latter means that they finished the championships ranked 14th position in the World.

Speaking in an interview with Gazette Sport, Seitei who also travelled with the team as Head of Delegation highlighted that the team’s poor performances in Prague were due to poor preparations prior to the championships. “Our funds for preparations were approved late and so we had only one training camp after the selection camp,” she said. “Another factor was that our team was pitted in a very tough group which had three top four ranked teams, that alone made it the group of death.”

Botswana’s showing at the just ended championships is rather underwhelming when compared to the 2017 edition where they made history by exiting the tournament ranked eighth in the World with Kagiso Mogale being awarded as the best pitcher after he completed the championships with most strikeouts.

Meanwhile the women’s national softball team will play at the second round of the Olympic qualifiers which are the WBSC Europe/Africa softball qualifying event. The games are billed for Utrecht, Netherlands between the 23rd and 27th of July. To make it to the competition, the local ladies emerged victorious at the African teams qualifiers by beating South Africa 8-1 in the final, the games were held in Pretoria, South Africa last month.

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