PUMP Track cyclist Khothalang Leuta is worried that her dream to compete in the UCI Red Bull World Championship in Leogan, Austria in September this year might be deferred due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Most of the sporting activities all over the world have been put on the ice as the countries try to curb the spread of the virus which has killed 287 000 people and infected over 4.2 million others.
After failing to make the cut last year, losing to South African Georgina Grissie, Leuta finally made it this year by winning the straight ticket to the finals in February 2020 qualifiers in Roma.
Leuta won the female category while last year’s winner, Mosito Mohapi defended his title in the male category. Their heroics earned them spots in Austria.
And she is now looking forward to making her dream come true but is worried that she may have to work longer.
“It felt very good to finally book a spot in the finals after failing last year and I was looking forward to it,” Leuta said.
“But unfortunately, it looks like things will not go as I had hoped and planned for.
“I was heartbroken when the disease broke out and different countries started postponing sporting activities.”
Leuta and other cyclists wait with bated breath for communication regarding this year’s tournament. Even if they are aware that the chances of the event going ahead this year are slim, they remain hopeful.
“Nothing official has been communicated as yet but it’s highly likely that it won’t happen this year. Other countries are yet to hold their won qualifiers, so that will require time. Even if things get back to normal now, I don’t think the finals will be staged this year,” she said.
Leuta said she hasn’t stopped practicing to avoid losing her form.
“I have been practicing since the lockdown regulations were relaxed this month. I don’t want and do nothing because you never know what happens, so for now I’ll keep practicing to remain in shape,” Leuta said.
Leuta added that all is not lost as a postponement might also give them proper time to prepare.
“I have been looking forward to experiencing the international level and see how see how athletes from other countries do it since we are new on this platform.
“However, all is not lost. We just have to use the postponement to our advantage for preparation.
“We need as many competitions as possible especially from outside the country because that is the only way one can improve. I know it is not easy considering the state of our economy but we need help for us to compete with the best from other countries,” Leuta said.