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Women’s softball uplifts Olympic dream

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Emerges African qualifiers victors

TLOTLO KEBINAKGABO

The women’s softball national team’s dream of being the first African team to make it to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics is slowly but surely becoming a reality.

This is after the team defeated South Africa 8-1 in the finals of African teams Olympics qualifiers which were held in Pretoria, South Africa this past weekend. Prior to defeating South Africa, the local team had defeated Uganda 12-3 before defeating Nigeria 13-0 to make it to the final.

Speaking in a interview with Gazette Sport, the Head of Delegation Molekane Bokhutlo, said the team emerged as champions due to the their commitment and the rigid strategic approach of the technical team during the tournament.

“ Our team is very balanced and has shown more than we expected in terms of performance, character and determination,” he noted. “ We are considering to include at least two under 19 players for exposure as we head to Netherlands. We are also open to including any other player who would prove handy to the squad going forward but for now the team is still balanced.”

Bokhutlo highlighted that the team still has to improve in their offense if at all they would like see their dream of making it to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics coming true. “Our offense has since improved in previous games but going into the next stage which is highly competitive we will have to adjust it. We really need to modify at the front to match the standards of our counterparts then our dreams of qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will come to reality.”

The local ladies’ victory means that they will now appear at the next stage of Olympic qualifiers which are the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Europe/Africa softball qualifying event. The games are billed for Utrecht, Netherlands between the 23rd and 27th of July and the local team will be joined by South Africa as the second African team.

The duo of Botswana and South Africa will join other European team at Utrecht on which eight qualified teams will be split into two groups for the opening round. The best softball team across Africa and Europe will earn a spot in the six-nation softball event at the Olympic Games.

Meanwhile Botswana Softball Association have named the squad that will represent the country at the Senior Men World Championships scheduled for Prague, Czech Republic from the 13th to the 23rd of June.

The team
Pitchers; Gideon Puaka, Pami Mazulugwa, Kunyalala Samuel, Romeo Tshelametsi and Kagiso Mogale.
Catchers; Thabiso Radithobane, Unaswi Gudu and Morulaganyi Moalosi.
Infield; Moses Kgosimore, Kefilwe Kenosi, Ofentse Ketshogile, Tiro Mazulugwa, Jury Manaka and Brian Dekoker.
Outfield; Eric Simwanza, Thabo Dhlodhlo and Tshepo Ditiro
Technical team; Pako Maforaga as Head Coach with James Moremedi and Tony Moyo assisting him.

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