Tak­ing Sechele to Sene­gal was a mis­take

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

TRIPLE-JUMPER, Ler­ato Sechele, was among five ath­letes awarded schol­ar­ships by the Le­sotho na­tional olympic Com­mit­tee ( Lnoc) in 2014. the move was meant to help them qual­ify for the olympics to be held in Brazil next month.

Sechele and swim­mer ntšekhe Setho are two of the five ath­letes who have failed to qual­ify for the Games sched­uled for Rio de Janeiro from 5-21 Au­gust.

While i ap­plaud the Lnoc for com­ing up with these schol­ar­ship, i re­ally feel they made the wrong choice by send­ing Sechele to Sene­gal.

there are many coun­tries which spe­cialise in athletics and could have helped Sechele im­prove her per­for­mance and Sene­gal is cer­tainly not among those na­tions.

the Sene­galese are known as a foot­ball pow­er­house which is why i was sur­prised to hear that Sechele was go­ing to camp in that coun­try with the hope of mak­ing her a bet­ter ath­lete.

i am not sur­prised Sechele’s per­for­mance has dropped in­stead of im­prov­ing, since she went to West African na­tion.

this girl was in top form prior to go­ing to Sene­gal and won a gold medal at the 2011 African Union Sports Coun­cil Games to con­firm her pedi­gree.

But her fail­ure to qual­ify for the olympics says it all — that this was a bad move which should be rec­ti­fied as soon as pos­si­ble be­cause at 22 years of age, she still has a lot to of­fer pro­vided she is in the right coun­try for the de­vel­op­ment.

the fact that the Lnoc even de­cided against fly­ing the ath­lete for the African Se­nior Cham­pi­onship held in Dur­ban, South Africa last month, to fur­ther give her an op­por­tu­nity to qual­ify, is proof that the as­so­ci­a­tion is very dis­ap­pointed with her. And that is why she should be moved from Sene­gal as a mat­ter of ur­gency to save her sink­ing ca­reer.

i still feel even mos­ito Le­hata coul d have be­come a far bet­ter sprinter had he been sent to a coun­try like Ja­maica or the United States of amer­ica in­stead of mau­ri­tius where he has been based for the past five years of so. We all know that Ja­maica and the US have the best sprint­ers and Le­hata could have cer­tainly ben­e­fit­ted from these coun­tries’ ex­per­tise had been camp­ing there for as long as he has been in Mau­ri­tius.

if tak­ing him to these two coun­tries was go­ing to be too ex­pen­sive for Le­sotho, then South Africa was go­ing to be a bet­ter op­tion as their ath­letes have been do­ing well on the in­ter­na­tional stage.

this is why Botswana, who are also do­ing well in field events, have placed some of their ath­letes in South African high-per­for­mance centres.

Athletics’ new kid-on-the­block, no­mankoe nkhasi, is based in South Africa and is proof of what i have just said.

the 22-year-old won bronze at the con­ti­nen­tal cham­pi­onship held last month in Dur­ban to also book a place at the Rio de Janeiro Games.

Like i said, send­ing Sechele to Sene­gal was a huge mis­take which should be rec­ti­fied as a mat­ter of ur­gency. But all in all, the schol­ar­ships idea was no­ble as it helps our ath­letes be­come bet­ter. With that said, i would like to wish makoanyane Xi the best of luck when they play South africa at Set­soto sta­dium this Sun­day. this will surely be a big test for the team as they bat­tle to qual­ify for the 2017 Africa un­der-20 Cup of na­tions. A to­tal of eight teams will play in the fi­nal tour­na­ment to be hosted by Zam­bia from 26 Fe­bru­ary to 12 march 2017 and hope­fully, Le­sotho will pre­vail over South Africa as this is the fi­nal fix­ture of the qual­i­fi­ca­tion cam­paign.

Triple-jumper ler­ato Sechele.

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