Ath­letes fight for na­tional team places

Lesotho Times - - Sport - Mikia Kalati

they are one of the big­gest teams in Le­sotho, while we are new­com­ers in the Premier­ship.”

how­ever, LDF coach, male­fet­sane Pheko, said the LNIG Top8 The Le­sotho Am­a­teur Ath­let­ics As­so­ci­a­tion (LAAA) is set to hold a ju­nior track-and-field cham­pi­onship at set­soto sta­dium on satur­day.

The as­so­ci­a­tion’s Public Re­la­tions Of­fi­cer, se­jana­mane maphathe, said the com­pe­ti­tion would be used to se­lect Le­sotho’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives in next month’s African Ju­nior Trackand-field Cham­pi­onship sched­uled for Ad­dis Ababa in ethiopia.

“We have sev­eral in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tions com­ing up, hence th­ese qual­i­fy­ing tour­na­ments we are hold­ing to make sure our ath­letes meet the re­quired in­ter­na­tional stan­dards,” maphathe said.

“We re­cently held a cross-coun­try cham­pi­onship in Maseru where we iden­ti­fied 12 run- de­feat to mat­lama was now wa­ter un­der the bridge.

Ac­cord­ing to Pheko, third-placed LDF were hop­ing to cap­i­talise on sec­ond-placed Bantu’s busy sched- ners for na­tional duty, in fu­ture.”

maphathe added the as­so­ci­a­tion’s fo­cus was cur­rently on build­ing a team for the ethiopia meet and African Youth Cham­pi­onship set for mau­ri­tius in April.

“Un­for­tu­nately, our chal­lenge at the mo­ment, is fund­ing. We are not sure if we are go­ing to par­tic­i­pate in all th­ese races due to lack of fi­nances.”

he con­tin­ued: “The aim is to have a big pool of ath­letes in dif­fer­ent age-groups and make sure they meet in­ter­na­tional stan­dards. That way, we will be able to pre­pare them for com­pe­ti­tions such as the All-africa Games and World Ath­let­ics Cham­pi­onship that are also com­ing up later in the year.

“But like i said, fund­ing is our ma­jor headache, and hope­fully, the sit­u­a­tion is go­ing to im­prove soon.” ule and pacesetters Li­oli’s re­cent strug­gles. Six­teen fix­tures into the 26-match sea­son, Li­oli lead the Premier­ship pack on 39 points fol­lowed by Bantu, LDF, LCS, and

mean­while, maphathe said Tšepang sello, ‘ma­maka­tise moku­lu­bete and Li­neo Chaka were among the out­stand­ing ath­letes dur­ing the cross-coun­try cham­pi­onship the LAAA held two weeks ago.

“There is a crop of young tal­ent emerg­ing and i was im­pressed with what i saw dur­ing the cross-coun­try com­pe­ti­tion. i hope to see more such prom­ise on satur­day at the trackand-field cham­pi­onship,” Maphathe said.

how­ever, maphathe lamented age-cheat­ing among the ath­letes, which he said had be­come cause for con­cern.

“We have since learnt that some of the ath­letes have been ly­ing about their ages. how­ever, we are now work­ing closely with schools to make sure the cul­prits are flushed out be­fore they do a lot of dam­age to our devel­op­ment ef­forts.”

Week­end fix­tures at a glance Satur­day: mat­lama v Lmps (Pitso Ground), LDF v Kick­4life (ratjo­mose Bar­racks), Nyenye rovers v Linare (st mon­ica’s).

Sun­day : Li­oli v Lik­ila (venue to be de­cided), mphat­lalat­sane v Likhopo (st mon­ica’s).

LDF de­fender Du­mane Lethakha (left) tus­sles for the ball with Kick­4life mid­fielder Adele Ntoya Malanga at LDF Ground in this file pic­ture.

LAAA Spokesper­son Se­jana­mane Maphathe

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