Mo­qhali backs Nkhabut­lane

Lesotho Times - - Sport - Mikia Kalati

LEG­ENDARY marathon run­ner, Thabiso Mo­qhali has backed Mot­lokoa Nkhabut­lane to suc­ceed on the in­ter­na­tional stage after the lat­ter broke his 26-year old na­tional record at the Paris Marathon in France over the week­end.

Nkhabut­lane fin­ished 8th in the 42.2km race clock­ing 2:09: 47 and set a new na­tional record in the process.

He shat­tered the pre­vi­ous time of 2:10:00 set by Mo­qhali at the Lon­don Marathon in 1991.

Mo­qhali also won gold at the 1998 Com­mon­wealth Games at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and ever since those heady days, Le­sotho has dis­mally failed to shine at ma­jor in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tions, with some ath­letes even strug­gling to reach the fin­ish line.

How­ever, Mo­qhali is con­fi­dent this will soon change after Nkhabut­lane’s ex­ploits.

“I’m not sur­prised at all that he broke my record but I ex­pected it to have come ear­lier,” Mo­qhali said in an in­ter­view with the Le­sotho Times this week.

He said Nkhabut­lane had al­ways shown a lot of po­ten­tial, adding, “The fact that he fin­ished among the top ten at such a big race means that he now be­longs to the fam­ily of top run­ners in the world”.

“We are see­ing light at the end of the tun­nel as far as ath­let­ics are con­cerned in this coun­try.”

The 32 year-old Nkhabut­lane has won a num­ber of South African races in­clud­ing the Cape Town Two Oceans Marathon which he won twice. He last won it in 2015.

“I think he still eight good years ahead of him and could bring us a medal from the next Olympic Games,” Mo­qhali said.

“All he needs to do is to main­tain the same stan­dards and keep chal­leng­ing him­self against the best in big races such as the Paris Marathon.”

MOT­LOKOA Nkhabut­lane won the 2015 Two Oceans Marathon.

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