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Botswana knocked out of rugby olympic qualifiers

Kitso Ramono

*Coach blames results on lack of training camps
*Says two weeks of training is inadequate.

Botswana Rugby national squad, which competed in the recently concluded Africa Pre-Olympic qualifications in Mauritius this past weekend, failed to secure a place in the upcoming Africa Olympic and World Cup qualifiers, which will be held in Zimbabwe in September this year, finishing in eighth place out of 14 teams.

The squad performed dreadfully after being eliminated from Pool C, where they finished in third place with a single win and two losses, accumulating only five points.

Kabo Batsile, the team’s head coach, said in an interview that he was not pleased with his boys’ performance despite the fact that they gave it their all.

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“To be honest, the results do not make me happy. But I can’t blame the boys because they are not given enough time to prepare for these games. They are only called to camp a week or two before the event, which is insufficient to build a strong team,” Batsile remarked.

Other teams, according to Batsile, train for competitions on an annual basis, rather than waiting for invitations or competitions, and thus outperform them.

“We lack strength and conditioning, we fail to defend and keep the ball because our defenders have poorer physique compared to other teams,” he continued.

Looking at how they outdid themselves despite not being able to match the standards of the squad they played with, the head coach believes the team will improve with time.

The team however wasn’t sent home empty-handed, as they were awarded the best fair play trophy as well as the participation trophy.

Algeria, Nigeria, and Ivory Coast are the teams that have secured a berth for the Olympic qualifiers, joining the other nine countries that have already qualified owing to their high rankings.

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