Le­hata takes Rio exit on the chin

Lesotho Times - - Sport - Moorosi Tsiane

RIO DE JANEIRO — Le­sotho’s star sprinter Mos­ito Le­hata says he will not let his early exit from the 2016 Sum­mer Olympics dis­cour­age him, but use it as a learning ex­pe­ri­ence. Le­hata’s cam­paign at the qua­dren­nial sport­ing showcase ended on Tues­day af­ter his 20 sec­onds and 56 mini sec­onds in the first round of the men’s 200m race was not enough to qual­ify for the lat­ter stages. Le­hata also fell short in the first round of the 100m race held on Satur­day, whose final was one by Ja­maican sprint sen­sa­tion Usain Bolt. The 27-year old was the third Mosotho ath­lete to crash out of the Rio Games af­ter box­ers Inku­l­uleko Sun­tele and Moroke Mokhotho were knocked out in their first round matches on Thurs­day last week and Satur­day re­spec­tively.

Le­hata’s heat was won by Ed­ward Alonso of Panama and Great Bri­tain’s Tal­bot Daniels who both qual­i­fied for the semi-final set for to­day.

The Mat­sieng-born sprinter told the Le­sotho Times while he was dis­ap­pointed with his per­for­mance, he would not give up on his dream of win­ning a ma­jor ac­co­lade for his coun­try.

“I know that I let so many peo­ple down who were root­ing for me. How­ever, I gave it my best shot. In any case, I came here pre­pared for the 100m race. It was only af­ter I lost the 100m race that we de­cided with my coach to com­pete in the 200 me­tres.”

Le­hata said he would not al­low the set­back to get the bet­ter of him but go back to the draw­ing board.

“I am a fighter, and I never give up. I in­tend to go back to the draw­ing board and come up with a way for­ward. I still have some few years left in the sport, so I will keep on work­ing hard.”

He said the swel­ter­ing heat Rio did not make race any eas­ier.

“It is very hot here in Rio, and I don’t re­mem­ber run­ning good times in hot con­di­tions. How­ever, the fact re­mains it was not only hot for me only, since my com­peti­tors were ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the same con­di­tions,” said Le­hata.

“So, that can’t be an ex­cuse for fail­ure. It will take more hard work and prepa­ra­tions for me to make the grade. I know Basotho were sup­port­ing me and they are not happy with this per­for­mance. But I prom­ise to do bet­ter next time.”

Olympian sprinter mos­ito le­hata.

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