Le­bopo still go­ing strong

Lesotho Times - - Sport - Mikia Kalati

Veteran run­ner Mabuthile Le­bopo says he is not fin­ished yet and is still fit enough to com­pete for ma­jor ti­tles.

The 40-year-old came fourth in the Two Oceans Marathon held in Cape Town last Satur­day, but be­lieves his age had noth­ing to do with the re­sult.

Le­bopo won the Cape Town race in 2010, and said he was hop­ing to grab his sec­ond ti­tle on Satur­day and the M250 000 win­ner’s cheque.

“It is all about be­liev­ing in your­self and that was the case with me on Satur­day at the Two Oceans marathon,” Le­bopo said this week.

“There are run­ners older than me who com­pete at a much higher level and these in­spire me each time I see them in ac­tion.

“For me, it is not about age, but be­ing pas­sion­ate about what I do for a liv­ing. I never think about my age but just fo­cus on train­ing for the job at hand.

“Like I said, I’m still feel­ing very fit and good enough to run for at least an­other two years.

“I think my body will tell me when the time has come to re­tire. But for now, I’m em­brac­ing this sport with a smile, the way it has been for me over the years.”

Mean­while, Mot­lokoa Nkhabut­lane who failed to de­fend his Two Oceans ti­tle on Satur­day said he was still happy to get third po­si­tion and the M65 000 prize money.

Nkhabut­lane com­pleted the race in three hours, six min­utes and 22 sec­onds while the win­ner, Mike Foko­roni of Zim­babwe romped home in three hours,13 min­utes and 33 sec­onds and run­ner-up and com­pa­triot Collen Makaza crossed the line in three hours,14 min­utes and 45 sec­onds.

“I was so scared be­fore the race and maybe it had to do with the fact that I was the de­fend­ing cham­pion,” Nkhabut­lane said.

“It is never easy in this com­pe­ti­tion es­pe­cially go­ing into the race as ti­tle-holder. Be­cause you are the de­fend­ing cham­pion, ev­ery run­ner is tar­get­ing you, but I’m happy with how things went.

“Yes, I would have wanted to win the race again, but it is very com­pet­i­tive and if you look at the sta­tis­tics, you will see that no ath­lete has

Mot­lokoa nkhabut­lane.

Mabuthile le­bopo.

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