Olympic lifeline for boxer
The Lesotho Amateur Boxing Association (LABA) and Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC) could give Moroke Mokhotho a chance to make it to the 2016 Olympics by taking him to another qualifying tournament set for June in Uzbekistan.
The 2011 and 2015 All-africa Games bronze medalist narrowly missed securing a ticket to Rio de Janeiro at last month’s African qualifying competition held in Cameroon when he lost his semifinal bout.
however, his teammate, Inkululeko Suntele, booked a place at the Brazil Games during the same tournament despite losing in the final.
But according to LABA president, Takatso Ramakhula, Moroke could get another shot at qualification for the Brazil Games to be held in Rio de Janeiro from 5-21 August.
“This boy has done a lot for this country over the years. he won medals in Maputo in 2011 and Brazzaville last year and luckily for us, the Olympic Committee has heard our call to give him another chance, hence the trip to Uzbekistan,” Ramakhula said this week.
“he was unlucky to face a top boxer in his category in Cameroon, and this is the man who has been the stumbling block for Mokhotho over the years.
“But now that he is out of the way, we feel Mokhotho has a good chance of finally qualifying for the Olympics as all the top boxers have booked their places at the Games.”
head-of-delegation for the Lesotho Olympic team, Letsatsi Ntsibolane, meanwhile, said it was concerning that only four ath- letes had qualifiedd for Brazil 2016.
“We have not finalised nalised what will happen as yet, but there is a big possibility that Moroke will be sent to another other competition to try his luck again,” Ntsibolanebolane said.
“What I can sayy is we are not happy with number of athletes es who have qualified for the Games so far and d we will do everything we can to increase thehe figure if there is that possibility.
“We know the chances of us performing well in Brazil will l be much better if we have more athletes so that is what we are working on at the moment.”t.”
Mosito Lehata was the first athlete to qualify for the Olympicsympics and was later joined by marathon rathon runners Tšepo Mathibelle and Lebenya Nkoka, whilele Suntele increased the e figure to four last month.h.
Breaking his silence since coming short hort in Cameroon, Mokhotho okhotho said he was devastated stated to have come so close se to realising his dream of competing at the world’s biggestiggest multisport competition.
“I’m very grateful ful that I will have a chance to qualify once again,”gain,” Moroke said.
“everything started arted well for me in Cameroon as I knocked d out a home favourite and a Tunisian to reachh the semifinal stage. Unfortunately, by that time I had a slight injury in the shoulder and it made life difficult for me.
“I’m back in training aining and working hard to make sure I achieve eve my dream when I go to another competitionion in June.”