Lehata takes Rio exit on the chin
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.