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Athletes bite the dust at Comrades

by Lesotho Times

MASERU — Lesotho performed dismally at this year’s Comrades Marathon with only three of the seven local athletes managing to finish the 87km race held in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa on Sunday.

Tumi Malefetsane, Mokhejane, Lesenyeho and Ntlotšoeu managed to cross the line but they were nowhere near the top 10.

Tsotang Maine, Teboho Sello, ‘Mamoroallo Tjoka,(pictured right) and Andreas Mosuoe found the going tough and dropped out along the way.

Sello had shown a lot of promise by comfortably maintaining fourth position.

He maintained the position in the 50 to 65 km stretch of the marathon and appeared to be gearing towards winning the race or at least finishing in the top 10.

But that was never to be.

“After the first 65 km, I stopped, dropped out of the race and stepped into the car,” Sello told the Lesotho Times on Monday, a day after his uncharacteristically dismal performance.

“This is was the most difficult race I have ever competed in during my career,” Sello admitted.

A dejected Sello said he dropped out of the contest because he felt he was never going to win the race. 

“I am not used to small winnings and never wanted to settle for any position below 10.”

 “Having been used to winning big prizes and finding out that you are behind the target is very depressing, that is why I dropped out of the race.”

“I did not want to cause any damage to my muscles for small prize monies,” he said.

Local female athlete Tjoka managed to maintain third position for the first 42 km but thereafter the going got tough and she gave up.

She down played her poor performance when contacted by the Lesotho Times this week.

Initially she denied participating in the marathon but when pressed further she bulked and said she had failed to win the race because she was not “serious”.

“I was running but I was not serious,” Tjoka said.

“I just went there. I did not train for this race hence I was not serious.”

Zimbabwe’s Stephen Muzhingi retained his title in the man’s race while Russian’s Elena Nurgaiexa held on to the title she won in the women’s race last year.

This was Muzhingi’s third consecutive victory.

The two winners pocketed M250 000 each.

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