Botswana Defence Force (BDF) Table Tennis Club top player Tshenolo Pablo Mooketsi has retained his spot as the country’s number one according to the latest Botswana Table Tennis Association (BTTA) national rankings released on Monday. The player accumulated the maximum points from all tournaments that he has played since the beginning of the year including the ongoing Phoenix Assurance League to earn the top spot. This is after the player struggled performance wise the previous season where he did not win any title to his name.
Mooketsi tops the men national rankings, with Tirelo Tshipinare, Modisaotsile Kola Bakang Maloka and Thobo Matlhatsi making the top five and automatically getting into the national team provisional squad for the upcoming regional and continental sports events. In a subsequent interview with Gazette Sport, Mooketsi said he is excited to have regained the top position after a long struggle which he attributed to inconsistency due to school commitments. “It was a very difficult journey for me to find myself in the position once again after I struggled last season because I couldn’t balance both sport and education properly. My performance was fluctuating, but I did not give up, I kept on pushing and training whenever I could that’s why I did not quit. I have made it and all I want is to hold onto my position until the end of the season, I am working very hard every day and I am in the right state of mind. I would also like to recognise the efforts that my teammates have made towards my great comeback, and I am looking to a great season ahead of me, we still have the league that is very tough, and I am at tie with my closest rival Bakang Maloka but I am too ready,” he said.
Mooketsi is accompanied by Tirelo Tshipinare, Modisathebe Kola, Maloka and Thobo Matlhatsi in the men’s top 5, where as Tshepiso Rebatenne tops the women’s section alongside Emmah Lelatisitswe, Game Kebodiwang, Olorato Ramagapu and Tshepang Motlhalamme.
For his part BTTA President Kudzanani Motswagole said these rankings are from two tournaments and it is very important for players to do their best, so they amass more points. “There is another tournament that is coming on the April 23rd and it also contribute to the national rankings. We are happy with how everything is going now, players are very committed, and they have shown improvement in their play more so that we spent much time on the sidelines owing to covid-19. We have made a huge progress and I applaud the executive committee for their hard work in resurrecting the sport once again,” he added.
BTTA will hold the India Ambassador tournament on the 23rd of April in Gaborone and the Phoenix Assurance league resumes today (06/04/22).