Botswana’s flamboyant Weightlifting star Kgotla Kgaswane has bowed out of the ongoing Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England with a new Personal Best (PB) and National Record (NR) even though he did not finish on podium. He was competing for the honours in men’s 55kg category against 11 other opponents from various nations across the world.
In his second appearance at the Commonwealth games the 21-year-old gave an electrifying performance with the English crowd getting behind him as he lifted 70kg snatch and 101kg in clean and jerk for the final time with just a second left on the clock. He had a total lift of 171kg to finish 9th out of 11 competitors which is an improvement from his performance at the Gold Coast games held in Australia four years ago. In a subsequent interview, Kgaswane said he is happy to have registered a new PB and NR as it is a true reflection of growth and progress in his quest to qualify for other international competitions.
“I very was excited by the support i received from the crowd it felt like i was a home favourite. The competition was tough and for me to finish 9th out of 11 people registering new personal best and a national record it’s a big achievement and i am proud of my performance. I got to enjoy the experience of competing in the commonwealth games again second time in a row. I also had the opportunity to interact with other weightlifters who gave me support and encouraged me to work had as they see potential on me and that really made me want to work hard every day because I am of the view that I can always do better. This was the most challenging competition for me since the beginning of the year but lifting a total of 171kg was the highlight of my participation at the games,” he said.
He further stated that his next goal is to qualify for the 2022 weightlifting World Championships billed for Bogota, Colombia this November as part of his Paris 2024 Olympics preparations. “My main goal is to qualify for the World Championships and I am confident that I am going to qualify, so that I get a tough test before I start my Olympics journey. Competing at the World Championships will also help me to improve my world rankings so I can be ranked in a position that will get me more international competitions invites. I also hope to move up several weight categories and start lifting 130kg’s,”. Added Kgaswane.
He is the only Motswana weightlifter who have ever competed at the Commonwealth Games and he is hoping to become the first male to qualify for the Olympics after Magdeline Moyengwa who has since quit the sport following her participation at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.