FEDERATION of Dancesport Lesotho (FEDALE) president Teboho Rakhomo is disappointed with the low turnout at the fifth edition of the annual Queen Championship at Lehakoe last weekend.
The tournament was won by Botswana couple of Lone Molefhi and Alex Kgwedi while Matela Matlejane and Thato Majara came second. Paki Soro and Tsepang Komeke settled for third.
The competition saw dancers from four countries namely eSwatini, Botswana, South Africa and Lesotho competing for the honours.
Iketsetseng Primary School won the Zumba category while Makoanyane Primary School came second and New Millennium came third.
Rakhomo said as much as he was happy that they managed to hold a successful event, he was disappointed low turnout which also affected the performances.
He blamed the recent spate of xenophobic attacks in neighbouring South Africa for the low response to the event. He said several countries that were expected to send participants cancelled because their contestants were supposed to pass through South Africa.
“I am unhappy because there was a low response to the event unlike last year where we had an overwhelming turnout,” Rakhomo said.
“The attendance was affected by the recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa. Some of the countries that we expected to come felt unsafe passing through South Africa among them Mozambique and Zimbabwe. They had to cancel and unfortunately, that affected us because the lower the number of contestants, the lower the competition.
“We also had to assure the South African Dance Association president of the safety of their dancers as they feared that other countries would revenge against their contestants.”
Rakhomo however, said his dancers have improved compared to how they performed a fortnight in Botswana for the Independence Championship.
“They performance in Botswana was not up to scratch so we nudged them. However, Botswana had prepared better than us and I am not surprised that they took the championship.
“The winners of this competition came second in Botswana. Our local couple came fourth in Botswana but improved and came second in Maseru,” Rakhomo said.
He said they have introduced the Zumba category to give young dancers a chance to compete in groups as they usually do not have partners.