Nkhabut­lane ec­static

Lesotho Times - - Sport - Mikia Kalati

TOP long-dis­tance run­ner, Mot­lokoa Nkhabut­lane, says he is “ex­tremely ex­cited” af­ter win­ning his maiden Two Oceans Marathon last Satur­day in Cape Town.

Nkhabut­lane, who pocked M250 000 af­ter the win, told the Le­sotho Times that he was not a happy man when he left for the South african race af­ter be­ing de­nied the M1000 al­lowance which his 10 fel­low run­ners had been given by the sports min­istry. Nkhabut­lane said he still does not un­der­stand why his name was not on the list of ath­letes set to ben­e­fit from the fund­ing.

“First of all, I did not even want to run the Two Oceans Marathon this year. I had been pre­par­ing for a marathon in South Korea, but all the african ath­letes were turned away from the com­pe­ti­tion be­cause of the Ebola virus, which has been such a prob­lem on the con­ti­nent, par­tic­u­larly in West Africa,” Nkhabut­lane said.

“Af­ter the South Korea trip had failed, I de­cided to go for the Two Oceans, but be­fore we left for the race, my col­leagues were given M1000, but I was de­nied the money be­cause my name was not on the list, and no-one could ex­plain why.”

How­ever, the 29-year-old run­ner said he was “ex­cited” that he had de­fied the odds and won the race.

“God has his own ways of do­ing things and I’m grate­ful to Him for win­ning the race,” said Nkhabut­lane.

“I’m also very proud of my­self be­cause I de­fied the odds to win this race af­ter two un­suc­cess­ful at­tempts in the past, in which I fin­ished sec­ond and fifth.”

Nkhabut­lane, who fin­ished sec­ond in last year’s Soweto Marathon also in South Africa, added he hoped lo­cal ath­letes could be treated bet­ter.

“It hurts the way we are al­ways mis­treated and I hope things will change and we will get more sup­port from those in charge of sport in this coun­try,” said Nkhabut­lane.

“I re­ally do not un­der­stand why I was not given the money like the other ath­letes who took part in the com­pe­ti­tion.”

Con­tacted to shed light on the is­sue, the min­istry’s Se­nior In­for­ma­tion Of­fi­cer, Thethiwe Makara, said: “His name was omit­ted by mis­take and that has since been cor­rected and he will get his money.

“all this hap­pened be­cause he reg­is­tered very late for the com­pe­ti­tion, but I can also tell you that our new min­is­ter (Mathi­beli Mokhothu) is go­ing to host a gala-din­ner for all th­ese ath­letes as a thank you for fly­ing our flag high at the race.”

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