Botswana are the latest country to withdraw from the Africa Boxing Championships in Yaounde due to inadequate preparations occasioned by the late response to their funding request from the government.
The Secretary General of Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) Taolo Tlouetsile said instead of sending an ill-prepared team they have decided to withdraw from the Africa Championships scheduled for Yaounde, Cameroon, from July 25 to August 6.
“I can confirm that Botswana will not take part in the 2023 AFBC Championships,” said Tlouetsile.
“We requested for government funding and the process took a bit longer. The team has not in camp, we therefore agreed that it’s risky to send boxers to such a big competition without adequate training.
“Sport Commission took long to respond. The team has not been training together because this comes at a cost.”
Most of the top boxers selected for the tournament remained tight-lipped on the latest development but one of them, Aratwa Kasemang (pictured), agreed she was not well prepared for the Yaounde tournament.
“Personally I wasn’t ready since I just started a new job last month,” said Africa Championships light-welterweight silver medallist Kasemang who lost to Algeria’s Imane Khelif in the finals of last year’s Africa Championships in Maputo, Mozambique.
Kasemang, who has just started working on her new job as a land surveyor at Survermak PTY Ltd, says sponsorship from the private sector will lessen the burden for African governments and national federations.
“We just need to bring on board the private sector to help us with funding, that will ease things for our governments which we do understand are overstretched financially,” said Kasemang who was among the boxers selected to represent Botswana in the Africa Championships in Yaounde.
Others include defending Africa Championships female featherweight champion, Keamogetse Kenosi, Commonwealth Games minimumweight bronze medallist, Lethabo Modukanele, Africa Championships silver medallist, George Molwantwa and 2019 Africa Games flyweight champion, Rajab Mahommed Otukile.
Botswana now join Malawi and Rwanda as the countries which have withdrawn from the Africa Championships. The latter two pulled out due to lack of funding from their respective governments. Rwanda had not confirmed participation.
With Botswana and Malawi out, the countries that have confirmed are now 33 as shown below:
Credit: AFBC Communications