The Lesotho Table Tennis Association (LeTTA) has selected and announced a team to represent the country during the South African Open to take place in Bloemfontein next week.
The three-day tournament is slated to begin on September 17, 2021.
The four-player team in the male and female categories consists of twins Likhetho and Khethang Mothibi for the male category while the female section is to be represented by Nthabeleng Mokeki and Thato Mathibeli.
According to Mathibeli who is also the LeTTA Public Relations Officer, Aupa Rasemali and Moliehi Matsepe have been appointed coaches of the team for this particular tournament.
“The team to participate in the SA Open has been named and it will be coached by Aupa Rasemeni for males and Moliehi Matsepe for females, all this took place just after the team’s participation was approved,” Mathibeli said.
Earlier this year the LeTTA held Lesotho’s Winter Open tournament and the team was elected from those games.
“The players to represent the country were selected based on their respective performances and standings from the previous tournaments. But, the second best performing female, Reaboka Bofela was unavailable due to personal reasons so she was replaced by Mokeki,” said Mathibeli.
The Winter Open Tournament was held in July and was the first to be held by the association since sport was first suspended in March of 2020 at the back of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Before then, local players had last tasted table tennis action during the African Union Sports Council (AUSC) region 5 games Table Tennis Championships in Maseru in December 2019.
Mathibeli highlighted that the team started training last week soon after they got the go-ahead from the Lesotho Sports and Recreation Commission (LSRC).
“We have been training since last week when the LSRC gave us the greenlight and have been meeting daily since then until we leave for the tournament,” she said.
Despite having been out of action for quite a long time, the team is confident of bringing back victory.
Rasemeni said he is very confident with the team and how the preparations have been going.
“We have a lot of experience in the team which will be an advantage hence we expect a highly competitive tournament,” said Rasemeni.