Nkhabut­lane happy with Soweto per­for­mance

Lesotho Times - - Sport - Mikia Kalati

Top long-dis­tance run­ner, Mot­lokoa Nkhabut­lane, be­lieves lo­cal ath­letes could re­gain their dom­i­nance of south African races after com­ing sec­ond in the soweto Marathon last sun­day. Nkhabut­lane was beaten to the ti­tle by sin­tayehu Legese Yi­nesu of ethiopia, who pock­eted the win­ner’s prize of M100 000, while he took home M50 000.

The 31-year-old run­ner told the Le­sotho Times a day after the 42.2 kilo­me­tre race that lo­cal ath­letes now have a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of their east African coun­ter­parts, hence five of them man­aged to get into the top 10 on Sun­day.

Teboho Sello, Ramolefi Mot­sieloa, Matela Makhetha and tsotang Maine ended the event in third, fourth, sixth and eighth po­si­tions re­spec­tively, to cap a good day at the of­fice for the Le­sotho con­tin­gent.

“I think the hilly route got the bet­ter of me on sun­day oth­er­wise I would have won the race,” Nkhabut­lane said.

“the ethiopian guy who won the event ap­peared bet­ter pre­pared for the route be­cause he seemed to gain mo­men­tum when I was strug­gling, es­pe­cially to­wards the end.”

how­ever, Nkhabut­lane says he is proud of his per­for­mance and those of his coun­try­men.

“there was a big im­prove­ment from all of us and I think it is be­cause we now un­der­stand the Kenyans and ethiopi­ans bet­ter.

“In the past when we used to dom­i­nate south African races, they were not com­ing to th­ese marathons and you have to un­der­stand that un­like us, they par­tic­i­pate in big­ger races across the globe, and are bet­ter con­di­tioned to han­dle such com­pe­ti­tions.

“But if we could also get a chance to run races such as the Bos­ton, London and New York marathons, I think our per­for­mance could im­prove tremen­dously,” said Nkhabut­lane, who also ap­pealed to the Le­sotho Am­a­teur Ath­let­ics As­so­ci­a­tion and gov­ern­ment to as­sist lo­cal ath­letes re­alise such dreams.

“We need to be part of th­ese big races, in ad­di­tion to tak­ing part in south African marathons. With reg­u­lar com­pe­ti­tions against the best run­ners in the world, we can only get bet­ter.

“Again, I think if we could be pro­vided with coaches to bring a bit of ex­per­tise to our prepa­ra­tions, our per­for­mances would im­prove a lot.

“If you take me as an ex­am­ple, I al­ways train on my own with­out the ben­e­fit of an ex­pert, so I be­lieve if I had some­one to give me pro­fes­sional ad­vice, I would be a far much bet­ter ath­lete.”

Long-dis­tance run­ner Mot­lokoa nkhabut­lane

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