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Sibanda’s treble illuminates BNSC Awards

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BONGANI MALUNGA

The 36th Annual BNSC Awards gave birth to a new athletics phenomenon in 400m track star Karabo Sibanda. The fledgling star was the biggest winner of the pinnacle of sports awards in Botswana as he scooped three awards to solidify his place in BNSC Awards folklore. He is in the company of fellow track athletes Amantle Montsho and Nijel Amos who have previously won multiple awards at the prestigious event.
Sibanda walked away with three awards, scooping the Junior Male Sports-person of the Year ahead of Khaya Groth and James Freeman. He captured his second award by virtue of being a part of the Botswana 4x400m relay team that won the National Team of the Year accolade.
The youngster rounded off an impressive night as he was awarded the biggest honour of the night, walking away with the Debswana Sports-person of the Year worth P70 000. His achievement was incredible given the fact that junior athletes rarely win the coveted award.
Fellow track athlete Lame Hetanang was also a multiple winner as she won the Sportswoman of the Year award as well as the People’s Choice Award to complete an impressive trophy haul for herself.
Chikanda wins against the odds
Boxing star Zibani Chikanda continued his incredible run by scooping the Sportsman of the Year award against overwhelming favourites Isaac Makwala and Ofentse Bakwadi. Makwala was heavily tipped to win the award given his place among the top five 400m athletes in the world and an African championship winner while Bakwadi is a perennial regional, continental and global gold medal winner.
However, Chikanda proved that he is a star in his own right by defying the odds and scooping a well deserved award after dominating the local boxing scene. The  top award will boost his already impressive CV.
Ruele’s hot streak continues
Botswana swimming sensation Naomi Ruele added to her long list of accolades this year by winning the Junior Female Sports-person of the Year award. Ruele made history in 2016 by becoming Botswana’s first ever swimmer to qualify for the Olympic Games. She also garnered numerous awards at Florida International University including the Female Athlete of the Year at her tertiary school.

Mogorosi rewarded for his national team form
Zebras captain Joel Mogorosi became the latest recipient of the highly rated Chairperson’s Award. Mogorosi underlined his importance to the national team by scoring 10 goals in friendly and official games last year as he improved his scoring ratio at international level.
The Zebras skipper made history at the Francistown Sports Complex by becoming the first player to score at the venue. He is currently the national team’s highest scoring player at the venue with four goals so far. He scored his first goal at the stadium against 2013 AFCON finalists Burkina Faso and  continued to showcase his big game temperament with goals against African giants Mali as Zebras recorded another scalp.

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