Botswana Boxing Association (BOBA) and Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) have sent off ten national team boxers to Cameroon for continental Olympics qualifiers this week.
The team will participate in an intensive final training camp with France and Uzbekistan before flying to Cameroon on the 8th of March for the second Olympic qualifiers.
Addressing media, BoBA President Dr Thato Patakwe said the team started preparations in December last year.
He said the team participated at the Zone IV senior boxing championship in Maputo in January where they scooped position one.
“The tournament comprised of boxers from six countries and the team won 5 gold medals 4 silvers and 1 bronze medal. These boxers are competitive, they are the best and have undergone an intensive training, qualifying criteria and selection processes,”he said.
Patakwe urged Team Botswana not lose focus, but to work hard and stand together.
“The future of boxing can be different,” said Patakwe.
BNOC Chief Executive Officer Tuelo Serufho warned athletes against doping saying it can ruin their lives and cut their careers short.
He said they should make sure their coaches are aware of anything they consume to avoid such cases.
“Doping is real and we have had its cases before so I do not want you to fall into the same trap. Be great ambassadors of this country and make us proud,” said Serufho.
Team Botswana will field in five out of the ten categories available in Cameroon where the top three winners in each category will automatically qualify for the Olympic games.
In the ladies team, Botswana will field two pugilits out of the possible three categories and only one will go to Rio.
The team captain Zibani Chikanda said they have prepared well for the qualifiers and believe they will bring medals back home.
He thanked the association and BNOC for their support during training camps.
The team comprises of five men Mahommed Rajab Otukile (49kg) , Kabelo Bagwasi (60kg), Kagiso Bagwasi (64kg), Lentswe Zwinila (69kg) and Zibani Chikanda.
Ladies are only two Keamogetse Kenosi (60kg) and Koketso Dipogiso (51kg).