Sports

Lesotho off to pump track race

Chris Theko

Lesotho’s elite pump track specialist Mosito Mohapi says he is ready to raise the country’s flag at the Red Bull Pump Track World qualifiers this Saturday.

The competition is scheduled to be hosted in Pretoria, South Africa.

Mohapi, Molefi Ntoko, Meke Mapanya, Kopano Matobo, Makhotso Paamo and Khothalang Leuta were all in action last week Saturday at a Sky League competition in Roma for the last lap of their preparations towards the qualifiers.

Their participation at the World qualifiers competition would be team Lesotho’s debut appearance on the international stage.

Ntoko, Mapanya and Matobo were hoping to qualify in the male category, while Makhotso Paamo and Khothalang Leuta were competing in the female category.

Mohapi continued his fine form winning the male category clocking 00:19:7 with Ntoko hot on his heels with a 00:19:8, time on second place, while Matobo finished the podium position on third with 00:19:7. 

For the female category Khothalang Leuta won with a 00:22:3.

In second position was Lieketseng Ralefifi 00:23:3

The Roma based Mohapi has however, already booked his spot at the World Championships set for October in Switzerland, during a local qualifiers in March.

In an interview with Newsday Sports the athlete said that they were all hard at work to improve their times.

“Personally I am looking forward to the challenge and I just can’t wait to perform on the big stage,” Mohapi said.

He added, “We are all working hard because we know that it is not going to be easy.  This last preparatory competition was very important to us as there were a lot of positives. We have been practicing every day all day.”

He said they have also been studying the Pretoria track, and have noticed that it is much tougher than the local one. He however, said they are not worried because they will have a day to train when they arrive in Pretoria, since they would be leaving the country on July 18.

“We have been trying to study that track just to know what we will be up against. So, we are aware that it is not going to be easy, but we are also working to improve like I have said. We are also going to have a day to train before the main event, so, we will manage”.

He also mentioned that he and the team mates are all determined to do well.

“I have also been trying to teach them a few tricks that I think can help them do better and qualify,” said Mohapi.

“They all have equal chances of qualifying, but they just need to be brave and do all they can. It will also be good to have other Basotho qualifying for the World Finals,” Mohapi concluded.

The Lesotho Basketball Association’s newly appointed President, Faku Masupha dreams of elevating the sport’s standard from dust to pinnacles.

Masupha was elected president after outsmarting the dethroned Francis Koma, last Saturday at the club’s elective conference following the alleged disreputable and blurry executive performance by the previous committee, which was dissolved last month, and was followed by the appointment of an interim committee.

The 27-year old believes he is the man to change the game around, and his appointment was the best slam-dunk, as his long term dreams-since he was ten years old, would not turn into a nightmarish illusion during the four year tenure ahead.   

“I thank the support I received from the basketball family; I am happy because they believed in me, and trust that I can lead the association,” Masupha said.

“This grants me an opportunity to exercise the dreams I have had since I was ten years old. It is time that such dreams are executed and working on development pipeline is one thing that we have to take into consideration,” he said.

“We have to start teaching children basketball from the age of six years, and this should be coupled with giving them a platform to play. We also have to develop coaches, and increase their number from the present 15 to 74,” Masupha noted, adding that his executive will precisely work on administration enhancement.

“My plan is to start what we call carded program, where we teach children below 13 years of age, as well as targeting the high school leagues , namely, Junior and Senior. We also need to aim at the development league,” he said.

“I once wrote this pipeline, but because of lack of resources I was unable to execute it,” he pointed out.

“We don’t have good administration tactics, and the league has not yet reached the high school level. This means we have to develop an administration which is determined by results, because when the level of play is poor it means the governance is also poor. The level of play is equivalent to the level of governance,” he said.

Masupha lamented that they are presently using the Lesotho Sport and Recreation Commission offices, and pointed out that there is a need for them to own their own premises, since the sport has never owned a single building ever since it was bred in 1996.  

He further coughed out that it’s a humiliation to have little or no playing balls and other related facilities. Masupha divulged that his charges will have to put under the microscopic eye the results from previous international games, thus, shaping the association’s stepping-stones.    

“We also have to work on the infrastructure and asserts; we need to have play courts and motor vehicles. We need to have our own establishment. It’s true we are still using LSRC premises for our offices but, we are restricted from hosting our own guests among other things,” he said.

“We must also have facilities, an abundance of playing balls and Coles. No team must complain of not having balls and other practice facilities,” he said. “We have to grow and dream and assess our performance as an association, through excellence which will determine our results at international games.”

“We have to get at least a minimum of bronze, silver and gold. We also must get a minimum of qualified referees who are and paid for refereeing,” he said.

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