The Federation of Athletics Lesotho (FAL) has announced the names of the athletes who are heading to Botswana to represent Lesotho in the Botswana Championships pencilled for tomorrow through Sunday (May 15-16, 2021).
The Championship will also be qualifiers for the Tokyo Olympics set for July-August 2021.
Team Lesotho athletes left the country for Botswana yesterday in time for tomorrow’s start of the games.
The list of athletes boasts some of the top runners with Mojela Koneshe who will compete in the 200m and 100m races. A host of long distance runners will represent Lesotho in the 10km race where there are such names as Ramolefi Motsieloa, Toka Badboy, Namakoe Nkhasi, Sekonyela Letsekang and Tebello Ramokongoana.
‘Mathakane Letsie will compete in the 1km race while Tšepang Sello who completes the list will be racing in the 800m as well as the 1,5km races.
Officials travelling with the team are Mandoro Lemohang, ‘Mamaliea Nalane and Sefali Sefali.
According to the FAL Secretary-General Makara Thibinyane, Lesotho was invited to take part in the championship by their Botswana counterparts.
“We saw this as a good opportunity for our athletes because the championship is also a qualifier for the Tokyo Olympics.
“The team chosen is also made up of athletes who are on our long list which is being prepared for the Olympics hence we are sending them to Botswana in the push for them to qualify,” he said.
The trip is said to be fully bankrolled by the Lesotho National Olympics Committee (LNOC).
Most of the athletes selected to compete at the open track event held in Mafeteng two weeks back and performed very well. Thibinyane said they are confident that the athletes chosen will produce great results and hopefully enough to see them qualify.
A large number of the athletes will be competing outside the country for the first time in over a year due to the suspension of sports in the country and travel restrictions which were imposed by different countries as their way of trying to curb the spread of the Covid-19 outbreak.
However, Thibinyane remains confident that with the results that the athletes have been delivering locally, they will do well despite their long period of inactivity from international competitions.
“Despite that most our athletes have been away from competitions for a very long time because of the Covid-19, most of them still look good in shape because they never stopped training so we are indeed hopeful that they will bring good results,” he said.
In Lesotho so far only Khoarahlana Seutloali has already secured qualification for the Olympics and Thibinyane said for the rest of the athletes it is going to be a very busy few weeks this month and next months due to a number of qualifiers that will be taking place.