Sports

Local athletes bring victory home

Seabata Mahao

Four Lesotho Athletes returned with beaming with smiles of victory following their contest in the Botswana Championship Games held in Gaborone, Botswana as they qualified for the African Athletics Championships and the African Championship games respectively.

Triple Jumper Lerato Sechele Tšolo, 10 000metre runners ‘Neheng Khatala Seutoali and Toka Badboy as well as 1000meter runner Mojela Koneshe, brought home medals, but best of all made it to the qualifiers’ list. Two Lesotho female athletes ‘Neheng Khatala Seutloali a 10 000 metre runner and Lerato Sechele Tšolo a triple jumper, qualified for the African Senior Championship Games to be staged in Algeria next month.

On the other hand, Toka Badboy who is a 10 000meter runner also secured a spot in the African Senior Championships, after clocking 28:37:24 in the 10 000meter BAA National Athletic Championship in Botswana.

In an interview with Newsday Sport, Lesotho Amateur Athletics Association’s President Tšeliso Pheta said that, the four Lesotho athletics have qualified to play in the Confederations of African Athletics which are African Senior Championships. The games will be from June 24th to 28th 2021 in Algeria and they are already preparing and training for the championship.

“Our wish is for the athletes to go to the Confederations of African Athletics with high numbers for qualifications for the Olympics. So after the Confederations of African Athletics the athletes will head straight to Tokyo, Japan for the Olympic Games, as they hard in preparations at the moment” Pheta said.   

“Everything is going on well except for the delays and problems caused by the global Covid-19 pandemic. There are a lot of issues to be confirmed concerning the African Senior Championship Games due to the problems arising however they are still trying to be solved by the committee. The games, however, face a covid-19 threat which could see their cancellation should the Covid-19 third wave hit the host country Algeria. Our team is ready and set we are just waiting for the final confirmation then the athletes will be on their way,” said Pheta.

A large number of 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. 

In Lesotho, so far, only Khoarahlana Seutloali has already qualified 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.

Pheta said that Toka Badboy qualified in Botswana as number 1 and others almost qualified. Namkoe Nkhasi was number 2, Tebello Ramakongoana was number 3 and Ramolefi Motsieloa was number 6, in vying for the 10 000metres title. On the women’s side ‘Mathakane Letsie was number 1 in the 1 500meters title.      

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