Sports

Athletes falter in African Champs

Chris Theko

Lesotho athletes returned home empty-handed following a wimpy showing at the Confederations of African Athletics (CAA) senior track and field championships.

The games were held in Mauritius during the period spanning June 8 to 12,2022 where Lesotho was represented by the trio of triple jumper Lerato Sechele, sprinter Mojela Koneshe and Marathoner Tebello Ramakongoana. 

Initially, the team included long distance runner Toka Badboy who was dropped at the last minute due to a knee and ankle injury. 

Sechele was looking to improve her performance form the last edition of the championship in 2018 in Asaba, Nigeria whence she brought home a bronze medal with a 13.31m jump. However, she failed to bag a medal this time around after jumping 12.83m and finishing in sixth position on Sunday. 

Senegal’s Sangone Kandji won the bout a personal best of 13.76m followed closely by her compatriot, Sarr Saly with 13.42m in second place. 

Sechele does however, still hold the national record for triple jump with a 13.57m jump she recorded during the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in 2018 where she took fourth position.

Nonetheless, her performance at the games is still an improvement compared to her recent results this season.

Koneshe who was making his debut at the continental showpiece, displayed a promising performance finishing second in the 100m heat clocking 10.23 to advance to the semi-finals.

However, he failed to make it to the final after coming seventh in the semis clocking 10.40.

Another debutant at the continental event, Ramakongoana ran the 10km race in 30:47 and finished in 12th place.

Federation of Athletics Lesotho (FAL) president, Tšeliso Pheta, said the overall performance of the athletes at the games was decent despite not bringing home medals. 

“Looking at the times recorded by the athletes, it was a fairly decent performance that gives us hope going forward. 

“The federation is happy with the performance, Ramakongoana’s time is impressive. He is currently under a marathon programme and the time he ran gives us hope that he will do well in the upcoming World Championships,” Pheta said.

Ramakongoana’s focus will now shift to the preparations for the World Athletics Championships to be staged in United States of America from 15 to 24 July 20122, where he will be joined by Olympiad, ‘Neheng Khatala.  

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