Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) Senior National Team coach Otto Tafa has mandated his six team contingent to win four medals at the upcoming Africa Senior Karate Championships slated for Cameroon on June 2nd to the 5th.
The team comprises of Thabang Setshego, Ofentse Bakwadi, Oratile Caiphus, Mpho Basenakitso, Lemogang Koolopile and Lame Hetanang. According to Tafa, preparations have rather been hampered by lack of funds from the mother body (BOKA) ahead of the championships.
“I have faith in the team I have selected however there has been barriers to our training schedule as the mother body has no released funds for the team to get on camp. Despite that, I believe we are well equipped to compete for medals and will be counting on experienced campaigners Bakwadi, Basenakitso, Hetanang and Koolopile to bring back medals,” Tafa told Gazette Sport.
Despite highly publicized disagreement on the final squad that made the cut for the Championships,Tafa leaped to the defense of his final squad.
“It was not easy leaving familiar faces with international experiences such as Merillyn Manthe and Thato Malunga but I think the six karatekas I selected will do the job.Merillyn was part of the team that went to France for Kofukan tournament in France but since then she has struggled with her fitness while Malunga was omitted because of health issues,” Tafa added.
Meanwhile 11th ranked World Karate Federation league 1 star Ofentse Bakwadi will once again be expected to impress in the Individual kata,while Hetanang will compete in the female individual kata,with the rest of the team competing in respective weights of kumite. The team will be supported by a delegation of UFAK officials Mpho Bakwadi and Million Masumbika.