Botswana Table Tennis Association (BTTA) has not wasted any time in finding its feet back into the competitions setting following the reopening of sports activities in the country last week. BTTA has already organised a preliminary tournament dubbed “Top 16” that will serve as a qualifier to the highly anticipated grand finale slated for September 2021 in Gaborone.
The Top 16 Tournament will be held in two weeks’ time, 3rd of July at the Botswana National Youth Council (BNYC) hall. It will be contested by all players (men and women) ranked within top 16 bracket in singles category. It includes top seeded players such as
Bakang Maloka, Sean Dekop, Tshenolo Mooketso, Masa Lesole and Boago Malobela in the men’s section whereas the ladies’ section will be headlined by the most experienced players, Tshepiso Rebatenne, Boitshwarelo Butale, Olorato Ramagapu, Salome Matlhatsi and Oratile Kedisaletse amongst others.
BTTA has been one of the most consistent national association in organising and hosting of competitions despite Covid-19 complications.
They had already hosted two tournaments before sports was halted in March due to rising number of covid 19 infections.
It has also produced marvellous players that earned themselves international scholarships such as Pheetso Jack who is in India and Rorisang Raesima who is set to depart for United States of America in October.
BTTA Vice President Technical Kabo Mosarwe told Gazette Sport that, they highly welcomed the decision to reopen the sports activities because time was already catching up with their calendar of events for the year and athletes were missing out on opportunities. “I am happy that we are back, and we will be continuing where we left
and the upcoming tournament will be a build up to one of the biggest tournaments within our calendar, The Grand Finale. This will also be good for our athletes who have been not active ant these kinds of tournaments come with prize monies which make a huge difference in their lives especially during these tough times of covid-19.” He said.
The winners will pocket P3 000,00 each in both men an women section while the runners up being 2nd and 3rd place get P1 500,00 and P750,00 respectively, courtesy of their big sponsor Phoenix Assurance Group.
On his part, Tshenolo Mooketsi of Botswana Defence Force (BDF) Club who is currently ranked number 6 in the country said he will be looking forward to improving his rankings and performance following his bad start in the past tournaments early this year.
“ I am hoping for a better comeback even though my performance and form was distracted by the suspension of sports. This means back to square one in terms of preparations, but I am confident that I will do good, and I am wary of the threat that other top players are posing ahead of this tournament.” he said.
Tshepiso Rebatenne is also hoping for the best, especially maintaining her ranking as the country’s number one. She dominated all the tournaments this year winning big ahead of her Smash Maniacs rivals Boitswarelo Butale and Olorato Ramagapu.