However, the BTTA said it was working on changing the criteria for the award dubbed “The Price That Changes Lives”. BTTA and Phoenix Assurance Botswana launched an annual P 70,000 sponsorship last year for the tournament which will see the winners in the men’s and women’s categories each pocket P 25,000, the biggest individual prize in table tennis.
In the first installment, players had to earn 30 or more points in the semi-finals in order to compete for the big check. If the semi-finalists have 30 or more points, the tournament will continue with the final match under the stated conditions, being the decider who would then pocket the huge P31,000 which includes the P6,000 tournament winners prize.
In a scenario where no player has 30 or more points in the semi-finals, the prize will not be awarded. Instead, the winners were to receive the P6,000 prize only. Speaking to Ms.gi Sport, BTTA’s public relations manager, Tiro Motswasele said the association was drafting new criteria for “the life-changing award”.
He said it was an effort to ensure fair competition and eliminate any potential for match-fixing. “We are in the process of making some changes to the criteria used to win the award. We will announce when we are done [them] but players will play once for the life changing prize. We are working on setting up an evaluation committee (tournament).
The committee will be responsible for ensuring that the prize is won fairly and for combating any form of match-fixing. It should be remembered that last year the prize was won only in the women’s tournament but [not] in men, ”Motswasele said. In 2020, the top-ranked Tshepiso Rebatenne made history by becoming the first player to win the award, returning home with 31,000 P.
Despite his triumph in the men’s section, Bakang Maloka missed out on the huge prize, as he and the rest of the contestants did not reach the 30 points cut by the semi-final.
The BTTA Independence Grand Final will take place from September 30 to October 1, 2021 at BUAN Hall. This weekend, higher education students will compete in the BOTESSA Open tournament to be held in the BUAN room.
The winners will take home a P2 000 cash prize plus a P300 food basket. The finalists win P1000, while the semi-finalist pockets P700.