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Botswana athletes leaves for China to attend Universiade

(Xinhua)

15:19, August 11, 2011

GABORONE, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- A contingent of 20 Botswana athletes have left for China on Wednesday to compete in the World University Games scheduled to take place from August 12 to 23.

The team comprises of athletes from different institutions from the Southern African country and will compete in athletics, chess and table tennis.

The team was sent through the Botswana Tertiary Schools' Sport Association (BOTESSA), the local sport body for tertiary schools, while in the past only University of Botswana (UB) sent a team to the games.

Speaking to Xinhua in an interview ahead of the team's departure, Loato Kelediyakgotla, a representative of athletics team said they expect to do well though they did not prepare as much as they wanted.

He said some relay teams could not train together because of academic commitments. "But as for us individual athletes I think we are fully prepared," he said.

The team general manager Moffat Monare also expressed hope in the team. He said considering how the athletes have been fairing in local and international competition, they would be able to match the standard of the competition.

The manager said the team started preparing as far back as last year in the Confederation of Universities and Colleges of Southern Africa (CUCSA) games that were organized in Botswana.

Besides eying medals, Monare said they hope the team will learn important lessons since most of them will be making their debut there.

"Mostly importantly we want them to make advance to higher levels of the competition."

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