Team Le­sotho wins nine medals in SA

Lesotho Times - - Sport - Mikia Kalati

TEAM Le­sotho won nine medals in last week­end’s South African open Ath­let­ics Cham­pi­onship held in Potchef­stroom.

Ac­cord­ing to Le­sotho Am­a­teur Ath­let­ics As­so­ci­a­tion public re­la­tions of­fi­cer, Se­jana­mane Maphathe, the coun­try sent a 12-mem­ber team to the cham­pi­onship and brought home three gold, two bronze and four sil­ver medals.

How­ever, Maphathe said de­spite clinch­ing the medals, none of the ath­letes at­tained qual­i­fy­ing stan­dards for the 15th World Cham­pi­onships in Ath­let­ics to be held from 22–30 Au­gust in Bei­jing, China.

“The com­pe­ti­tion was very tough as we bat­tled top ath­letes from the host coun­try, South Africa, as well as Botswana, and Zim­babwe, Zim­babwe,” Maphathe said.

“We took a very young teamm to the cham­pi­onship and some of them were com­pet­ing out­side the coun­try for the firstrst time, which is why I be­lieve they did fair­lyly well to come home with those medals.”

Maphathe fur­ther said thee as­so­ci­a­tion was hop­ing to take the ath­letes etes to an­other com­pe­ti­tion next mon­thh in Ger­mis­ton, South Africa, as wellell as the Botswana Na­tional Ath­let­ics Cham­pi­onships.

“Un­for­tu­nately, we only man­agedan­aged to take 12 ath­letes to South Africafrica last week­end due to fi­nan­cial con­straints.nstraints. Ini­tially, the plan was to go withth 19 run- ners, but we failed due to fund­ing as I have men­tioned,” said Maphathe.

“The big­ger pic­ture is to pre­pare the ath­letes for next year’s Rio de Janeiro olympics since age is on their side be­cause the old­est in the group is 23.

“I be­lieve with more com­pe­ti­tions at this level, th­ese ath­lete will im­prove and fol­low in the foot­steps house­hold names such as Mos­ito Le­hata and Ler­ato Sechele.”

Mean­while, Maphathe said he was im­pressed by the likes of Li­makatso Selala, Tšepang Sello, Thakane Mapho Maphoho, Tšepo Ra­mashamole, Ka­belo Le­sia and Mathapelo Mo­lapo i in Potchef­stroom.

“Th­ese young ath ath­letes gave a good per­for­mance in Potchef­stroom and the they will get bet­ter with ti time and by tak­ing part in big­ger com­pe­ti­tion com­pe­ti­tions,” said Maphathe.

LAAA spokesper­son Se­jana­mane Maphathe

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