Moqhali backs Nkhabutlane
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.