Team Botswana includes reigning national champions, Zone 6 individual kumite champions and a champion of the USA Open
A trio of talented young karate practitioners has left for the vibrant city of Casablanca, Morocco to represent Botswana at the Union des Fédérations Africaines de Karaté (UFAK) Junior Championships that is being held in the Maghreb country beginning on Monday this week.
The event, which is scheduled to end on 20 August 14, promises a week of intense competition, martial prowess and camaraderie as the finest karatekas from across the African continent vie for coveted titles.
Under the unfailing guidance of Sensei Ofentse Bakwadi, a revered figure in the world of karate, the young athletes on Team Botswana will be ready to demonstrate their prowess and claim the African karate crown when they pit their mettle against formidable opponents tomorrow (Thursday).
Serial winners and champions
The Botswana team consists of three promising karatekas, each equipped with impressive accolades. Kao Nsala holds the esteemed titles of national kata and kumite champion for boys aged 17 years and below. Nsala’s remarkable achievements also extend to being the reigning Zone 6 individual kumite champion and champion of the USA Open.
With Nsala is Lefika Mooketsi, the recipient of the national kata silver medal for boys aged 17 years and below. Mooketsi’s skill and determination have earned him the title of Zone 6 individual kumite silver medalist, a testament to his commitment and dedication to the art of karate.
Completing the trio is Gabriel Molefe, the national kumite champion for boys aged 17 years and below. Molefe’s consistent excellence is evident in his coveted title of Zone 6 individual kumite champion that he has held for several consecutive years. His experience and drive make him an integral part of the team’s pursuit of victory.
Speaking before leaving for Casablanca, Sensei Bakwadi expressed his confidence and optimism while acknowledging the challenges that lie ahead. “We expect them to do well but we are also mindful that this is their maiden continental tournament,” he said in a telephone interview.
“Having just returned from a successful showing at Zone 6, our expectations are high. Their unwavering dedication is evident in the fact that they didn’t take a break after their Zone 6 triumph.”
Sensei Bakwadi emphasised the developmental aspect of the team’s participation, highlighting the significance of exposure and experience as they pave their way to future excellence.
“This is a developmental team, and this exposure is pivotal for their growth in the coming years,” he said. “The forward-thinking approach of the Botswana Karate Association in sending them to this tournament is indeed commendable.”