Le­sotho dou­bles medals haul at schools tour­ney

Lesotho Times - - Sport - Mikia Kalati Mikia Kalati

SPRINT king Mos­ito Le­hata will be out to even the score against his Ja­maican coun­ter­parts on Satur­day dur­ing the Ja­maican in­ter­na­tional Ath­let­ics Meet­ing sched­uled for kingston.

Le­hata was de­nied a medal by three Ja­maicans — Rasheed Dwyer, War­ren Weir, and Ja­son Liver­more, who came first, sec­ond and third re­spec­tively in the 200 me­tre-race at the 2014 Com­mon­wealth Games in Glas­gow — and could only man­age fourth po­si­tion against a very pow­er­ful field of run­ners.

How­ever, Le­hata (25) had in­curred an in­jury prior to the race, and the sprinter be­lieves he could have done bet­ter was he fully fit on the day.

The iconic sprinter, who has been based in Mau­ri­tius for spe­cial train­ing since 2011, in­sists he is ready to beat the Ja­maicans and any other chal­lenger in the up­com­ing race.

“I re­mem­ber the race very well (on 31 July 2014) as if it hap­pened yes­ter­day,”le­hata told the Le­sotho Times this week. “That re­sult will be a mo­ti­vat­ing fac­tor as i go into Satur­day’s com­pe­ti­tion; it will be at the back of mine as i take to the LE­SOTHO In­sti­tute of Sports As­so­ci­a­tions (Lisa) public re­la­tions of­fi­cer, Teboho Pholo, feels lo­cal ath­letes who par­tic­i­pated in last week­end’s Con­fed­er­a­tion of Schools Sports As­so­ci­a­tions of South­ern African Games at Set­soto Sta­dium did the coun­try proud de­spite fail­ing to qual­ify for the 2015 World Youth Cham­pi­onship.

Le­sotho came third on the medals ta­ble with 16, while Zim­babwe and namibia were first and sec­ond on 70 and 54, re­spec­tively. track.

“If you re­mem­ber very well, it was a tight end in that fi­nal where I un­for­tu­nately lost out on a medal as i was run­ning car­ry­ing an in­jury.

“af­ter the race, i was on the side-lines for months and only re­turned to com­pet­i­tive races last month.”

Ac­cord­ing to Le­hata, he could not wait to re­unite with Dwyer, Weir, Liver­more and many other top ath­letes from around the world dur­ing the up­com­ing cham­pi­onship.

“Apart from my re­venge mis-

nine Zim­bab­wean and four namib­ian ath­letes sub­se­quently qual­i­fied for the World Youth Cham­pi­onship to be held in Colom­bia from 15 - 19 July while Le­sotho had none.

How­ever, Pholo still be­lieves lo­cals did well at the three-day com­pe­ti­tion which ended last Satur­day.

“I feel we did well, although there is still room for im­prove­ment. How­ever, it should be noted that we won eight medals more than last year,” Pholo said.

For the sport to grow, Pholo has called sion against the Ja­maicans, this is go­ing to be a mas­sive com­pe­ti­tion for me as it gives me the op­por­tu­nity to test my­self against the best,” said Le­hata, adding he al­ways strives to do well each time he takes to the track.

“Part of the com­pe­ti­tion is you want to suc­ceed all the time and I’m con­fi­dent of do­ing ev­ery­one back home proud in this race.

“I have to say it will also be good prepa­ra­tion for me as I fine-tune for the 15th World Cham­pi­onships in Ath­let­ics sched­uled for Bei­jing, China, in Au­gust,” he said.

Mean­while, Le­sotho Am­a­teur for con­sis­tency and sound plan­ning at the grass­roots.

“The main chal­lenge for us as a coun­try is to be con­sis­tent at devel­op­ment stage, oth­er­wise we will al­ways strug­gle and re­main be­hind the rest of the con­ti­nent,” said Pholo.

“We have to sit down and map the way for­ward to make sure that th­ese kids have re­sources through­out the year as well as good coach­ing sys­tems.

“It’s im­por­tant that we pay at­ten­tion to youth devel­op­ment be­cause it is very key Ath­let­ics As­so­ci­a­tion public re­la­tions of­fi­cer, Se­jana­mane Maphathe, be­lieves Le­hata has the tal­ent to beat the Ja­maicans in their own backyard.

“I think this is a good plat­form for him to pre­pare for the World Cham­pi­onships and of-course, set­tle an old score with the Ja­maican run­ners who took all the three po­si­tions ahead of him at the Com­mon­wealth Games in Glas­gow last year,” Maphathe said.

“He has been im­prov­ing with ev­ery race and I be­lieve we are go­ing to see the best of him go­ing for­ward.”

for the suc­cess of our sports.”

Pholo added de­spite com­ing last in the three-na­tion event, the com­pe­ti­tion was a suc­cess and con­firmed Le­sotho’s ca­pa­bil­ity to host such tour­na­ments.

“We man­aged to stage the three-day com­pe­ti­tion very suc­cess­fully. The only dis­ap­point­ment was that four other coun­tries could not send teams to the tour­na­ment hence we ended up hav­ing three na­tions only,” Pholo said.

Zam­bia, South Africa, Botswana and Swazi­land could not send teams to the event.

“over­all, our ath­letes did their best to get 16 medals com­pared to eight from last year. We just have to work hard to im­prove where we are lack­ing.”

From left: Sil­ver medal­ist War­ren Weir, Bronze medal­ist Ja­son Liver­more and Gold medal­ist rasheed Dwyer of Ja­maica cel­e­brate af­ter the men’s 200 me­tres Fi­nal at Ham­p­den Park dur­ing the Glas­gow 2014 Com­mon­wealth Games.

mos­ito Le­hata

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