A great sport­ing week­end

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

Lebenya nkoka and ‘Ma­maroallo Tjoka were the big win­ners of a busy sport­ing week­end, which in­cluded the High al­ti­tude Sum­mer Marathon and Roof of africa of­froad motorcycle race.

The veteran, long dis­tance run­ners both won first po­si­tions in the male and fe­male cat­e­gories of the big­gest ath­let­ics com­pe­ti­tion in our coun­try, whose win­ners pocket a cool M100 000 each, and con­grat­u­la­tions are in or­der for this great ac­com­plish­ment.

It was im­por­tant that the com­pe­ti­tions be won by lo­cal ath­letes and the two rose to the oc­ca­sion to make us proud as a na­tion.

I must say, I was a bit wor­ried lead­ing to the race after last year’s win­ner in the male cat­e­gory, Mabuthile Le­bopo, pulled out of the com­pe­ti­tion along­side Mot­lokoa nkhabut­lane, who came sec­ond in last month’s Soweto Marathon.

This is be­cause the High al­ti­tude race has grown in stature over the past few years and now at­tracts some of the best run­ners from across africa.

“It’s a wor­ri­some sit­u­a­tion for Mat­lama as a club, and I be­lieve it is also frus­trat­ing for the player be­cause we were told by United about a month ago that they were close to get­ting the work per­mit, but which has not hap­pened to this day,” nkhahle told the Le­sotho Times on Tues­day this week.

nkhahle dis­missed “ru­mours” that new United coach, Dun­can Lechesa, was plan­ning to re­turn Lerotholi to Mat­lama as he was be­com­ing in­creas­ingly frus­trated with keep­ing a player he could not utilise.

“I have been talk­ing to nkau and he re­ally wants to play and I hope his sit­u­a­tion will be re­solved soon. We will write a let­ter to United to in­quire about the player’s sit­u­a­tion.

“but what I would like to make clear is that United have not said any­thing about re­turn­ing nkau to us in frus­tra­tion. They have con­tin­ued to hon­our their end of the bar­gain, in­clud­ing mak­ing the agreed pay­ments for the player, which are be­ing done in in­stall­ments.

“That alone shows that they are still keen on the player, and hope­fully, the work per­mit is­sue is go­ing to be re­solved soon and en­sure the player starts play­ing the game once again.”

nkhahle added: “nkau is com­ing home next week for the Christ­mas hol­i­day and we will get a chance to dis­cuss the mat­ter in- depth, with him.

“Mat­lama is nkau’s home and it is only fair that we help him through this process so that he is back play­ing com­pet­i­tive foot­ball again.”

Mean­while, Lerotholi is in the same predica­ment as bantu striker Litšepe Marabe.

Marabe spent the whole of last sea­son on the side­lines at United after fail­ing to se­cure a work per­mit. He had also joined United from Mat­lama.

How­ever, Marabe joined bantu at the start of the cur­rent sea­son, and is lead­ing the scor­ing charts with 10 goals.

The Le­sotho Times could not get a com­ment from Lerotholi on his work per­mit is­sue.

Le­bopo was pushed all the way last year but his ex­pe­ri­ence proved vi­tal in the end, while Tjoka was beaten to first po­si­tion by Asefa Che­litu bo­gela of ethiopia. This out­come proved the com­pe­ti­tion had, in­deed, be­come very tough and that lo­cal run­ners needed to dou­ble their ef­forts to pre­vail on the rugged ter­rain of Mokhot­long .

but it looks like the Marathon Queen did her home­work this time around to end the year on a high.

The fact that there were South africans and Zim­bab­weans in the top five in both cat­e­gories says it all about the tough com­pe­ti­tion in the race.

I’m equally happy that nkoka also lived up to ex­pec­ta­tions to win the men’s race and prove to the rest of the con­ti­nent that we can still com­pete as far as marathons are con­cerned.

as for Roof of africa, Wade young, was in the spot­light once again, as he won the com­pe­ti­tion for the sec­ond time, de­spite only be­ing 18 years of age.

The KwaZulu-natal-born biker be­came the youngest win­ner of the Roof in 2012 when he beat the pre­vi­ous year’s win­ner, Jarvis Gra­ham from the United King­dom.

He has done it again as he con­tin­ues to rewrite the his­tory books for somebody of his ten­der age.

Thumbs up also to the Le­sotho bas­ket­ball as­so­ci­a­tion (Lba) lead­ers, who con­tinue to come-up with dif­fer­ent ini­tia­tives to grow the sport in the coun­try.

The Lba held a fun walk in Maseru last week­end, lead­ing to their up­com­ing Sum­mer Slam Char­ity Tour­na­ment, whose pro­ceeds would be pre­sented to some of Le­sotho’s needy chil­dren.

The Vodacom Premier League also pro­vided some great en­ter­tain­ment, en­sur­ing a grip­ping end to the first round of the 2014/15 cam­paign.

Li­oli main­tained their im­pres­sive form to re­main top of the 14team ta­ble, beat­ing Kick­4Life 2-0 in Maseru, while sec­ond-placed bantu de­feated Linare by the same mar­gin to make it an in­ter­est week­end for the two teams vy­ing for the league ti­tle.

bantu’s Litšepe Marabe scored his 10th goal of the cam­paign as he con­tin­ues with his good run of form in front of goal.

This is a player who spent the whole of last sea­son with­out kick­ing a ball in an of­fi­cial match for Garankuwa United in the South african First Di­vi­sion.

Marabe proved he re­mains one of the best play­ers in this coun­try by fight­ing back after such a frus­trat­ing spell of his foot­ball ca­reer.

I have also been im­pressed by Liphakoe who have all won all their eight matches of the a Di­vi­sion South­ern Stream and look set to end the first round un­beaten. Liphakoe are also yet to con­cede a goal.

The Quthing-based side have shown their in­ten­tions to re­turn to topflight foot­ball and I think I’m one of those peo­ple wait­ing to see them back in the Premier­ship be­cause it would be good for Le­sotho as it en­sures the game is spread around the coun­try and not just con­cen­trated in Maseru.

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