Tight affairs in ping pong final :: Mmegi Online

The Botswana Table Tennis Association (BTTA) grand final will culminate during the Independence Day holiday, with some tantalizing matches.

The final will be played Thursday and Friday at the BUAN Hall in Sebele. The ping-pong season has been strongly affected by recurring bans on competitive sporting competitions. But now paddlers will be motivated by the massive P 25,000 prize as they compete over the two days.

The award dubbed the “Life Changing Award” is sponsored by Phoenix Assurance Group and is the largest ever awarded to local individual sports. In addition to the huge prize, there is the regular first prize of 6,000P, which means players can pocket up to 31,000P. In order for players to win the P25,000 prize, they will need to have reached 30 points. before the semi-finals matches. If more than one player reaches the semi-finals out of 30 points, those players will have to play a decisive tie to win the prize.

However, if no player reaches the required 30 points in the semi-finals, the coveted prize will be forfeited. The country’s top-ranked woman, Tshepiso Rebatenne of the Nhabe Table Tennis Club will try to win the award for the second year in a row. She pocketed the cash prize last year, beating longtime rival Boitshwarelo Butale of Smash Maniacs in the final. Rebatenne remains the only player to win the award and has been in good shape in the few tournaments leading up to the Grand Final.

The 34-year-old enters the final following a historic moment where she won a bronze medal at the South African regional championship just a week ago. She has three tournament wins for this final. However, she will be wary of her rival, Butale. Although he has missed several tournaments, the veteran can cause an upheaval any day on the table. She emerged victorious from the last tournament she participated in, in August. Butale and Rebatenne are the favorites, but there are stars to come like Game Kebodiwang. The youngster won the trick played in March and will be looking to go a little further. Permanent semi-finalist Olorato Ramagapu is also pictured. The men’s section seems a tighter affair.

In 2020, male paddlers nationwide failed to win the P25,000 prize. Last year’s tournament winner Boago Malobela hopes to produce a performance up to the mark for the biggest prize. He faces a starving group that includes the best Bakang Maloka, Sean Dekop and Tshenolo Mooketsi, who are back on their way to victory after winning the BOTTESSA Open a fortnight ago. The quartet are miles ahead of their rivals and it would be interesting to see if we could achieve the required 30 points in two days.

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