LNOC mis­steps need ur­gent cor­rec­tion

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

THE cur­tain came down on the Rio Olympics on Sun­day, with Le­sotho’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives once again com­ing home empty-handed.

As if to sum up Le­sotho’s lack­lus­tre show­ing at the games, marathon run­ner Tšepang Mathi­belle and moun­tain biker Phethetso Monese failed to fin­ish their races due to de­hy­dra­tion and a bro­ken bi­cy­cle chain re­spec­tively.

It is dis­con­cert­ing that we con­tinue to make the same mis­takes in all the tour­na­ments we par­tic­i­pate in. A lot of money is poured into help­ing ath­letes qual­ify and pre­pare for ma­jor events such as the 2016 Sum­mer Olympics.

In turn, Ba­sotho have a rea­son­able ex­pec­ta­tion for ath­letes to per­form well in these events and win medals.

Dur­ing the Rio Games, the ex­pec­ta­tion was for team Le­sotho to im­prove from the per­for­mances of the Lon­don Games in 2012 since Le­sotho Na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee (LNOC) pres­i­dent, Mat­lo­hang Moiloa Ramo­qopo, was in charge in the two games.

Hon­estly speak­ing, I had seen the warn­ing signs of some of the ath­letes’ lack of pre- pared­ness even be­fore they left for Brazil.

A clas­sic ex­am­ple is No­makoe Nkhasi, who se­cured qual­i­fi­ca­tion later than the rest of the eight-mem­ber team.

Nkhasi’s first race rep­re­sent­ing his coun­try was the African Se­nior Cham­pi­onship held in Dur­ban, South Africa in June where he man­aged to se­cure a ticket to Brazil and also won a bronze medal.

I re­mem­ber talk­ing to Nkhasi about his preparations un­der two weeks be­fore to the Olympics. To my amaze­ment, he said no com­mu­ni­ca­tion had been made to him, and he didn’t even know when he was sup­posed to leave for Brazil.

It was only later in the day that some LNOC of­fi­cials called the 10 000m run­ner and sum­moned him for a meet­ing in Maseru, which I doubt would have hap­pened were it not for the fact the is­sue had made its way to the me­dia.it speaks vol­umes about the run­ning of our sports as­so­ci­a­tions.

I think the trip to Brazil was more like a hol­i­day for some of the LNOC com­mit­tee mem­bers. Ramo­qopo de­cided to use her priv­i­lege of be­ing ac­com­pa­nied by a part­ner of her choice to bring her hus­band to Rio.

Even though the LNOC boss was within her rights to bring her spouse, in my view, it would have made more sense and shown good lead­er­ship qual­i­ties to bring an of­fi­cial from one of the as­so­ci­a­tions.

Af­ter all, this was a work­ing trip for all the LNOC board mem­bers who were in Brazil, and it would have been a good plat­form for a sports ad­min­is­tra­tor to net­work with their coun­ter­parts.

In any case, the chef de mis­sion and LNOC sec­re­tary qual­i­fied for the priv­i­lege, but opted to ac­com­mo­date other of­fi­cials from the Olympic mother body.

So the LNOC pres­i­dent should have led by ex­am­ple.

LNOC has made a num­ber of mis­steps that ham­pered the de­vel­op­ment of ath­letes such as triple-jumper Ler­ato Sechele who was sent to a train­ing camp in Sene­gal.

Her per­for­mances are be­low par since the move to the West African coun­try, and it came as no sur­prise that she failed to qual­ify for the Rio Games.

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