- Most of them exited in the preliminary rounds
- Only Keamogetse Kenosi advanced to the quarterfinals
Botswana boxers endured a challenging outing at the Paris 2024 Boxing Africa Qualifier held at the Dakar Arena that concluded in Senegal last Friday.
The tournament witnessed a string of disappointments for Botswana’s pugilists, with most of them exiting in the preliminary rounds.
Among those who fell short were Aratwa Kasemang (female), George Molwantwa (male), Mahommed Rajab Otukile (male), and Kabo Seitshiro (male). Keamogetse Kenosi (female) was the sole Motswana boxer to advance to the quarterfinals but ultimately succumbed, failing to secure a place in the semifinals.
Several contributing factors
Sharing his insights into the subpar performance in a telephone interview, the Secretary General of Botswana Boxing Association (BOBA), Taolo Tlouetsile, cited several contributing factors.
“Firstly, our preparation was not ideal, lacking international friendlies to assess our boxers’ sharpness,” he said. “Additionally, we missed the Africa Boxing Confederation Championships, which were held in Yaoundé, Cameroon, last month.
“Participation in these championships could have significantly bolstered our preparation. Instead, we had only a one-week training camp in Lusaka, Zambia ahead of the competition.”
Tlouetsile, however, is optimistic that all hope is not lost for local boxers because two more Olympic qualification tournaments lie ahead.
The 1st World Qualification Tournament is scheduled to take place in Busto Arsizio, Italy from 29 February to 12 March 2024, while the 2nd World Qualification Tournament is set for Bangkok, Thailand from 23 May to 3 June 2024.
“Regarding our participation in these tournaments, it is contingent on support from the Botswana National Sports Commission and the Botswana National Olympic Committee in terms of funding,” he pointed out,
Meanwhile, the Paris 2024 Boxing Africa Qualifier concluded with 18 athletes securing coveted slots for the upcoming Olympic Games.