MASERU — Lesotho’s athletes performed dismally at this year’s Two Oceans Ultra marathon in Cape Town, with only two locals managing to finish in the Top 10.
The poor performance might be a signal that Lesotho is losing its dominance in South African marathons.
The locals — who have dominated South Africa’s athletics competitions — only managed a fourth and seventh position-finish through ’Mamoroallo Tjoka and Tsotang Maine, respectively.
The 2010 Two Oceans marathon champion, Mabuthile Lebopo, and last year’s first runner-up Motlokoa Nkhabutlane were nowhere near the top 10 positions.
Lebenya Nkoka, who came 12th on Saturday, told the Lesotho Times the rain and cold had contributed to Lesotho’s dismal performance.
“Rain and cold were the main contributing factors to our dismal performance on Saturday,” Nkoka said.
“I was feeling cold throughout the competition and even after crossing the finishing line, I was still cold,” he said.
Nkoka however said technically he had improved his performance as an athlete as compared to 2010.
“As a person, I take my performance as an improvement because I have drastically improved my personal best time,” Nkoka said.
“In 2010, my personal best time was three hours 30 minutes but on Saturday I managed to finish in 12th position with three hours 14 minutes, which is an improvement in my career.”
Nkoka said this should be something to celebrate as they also want to improve as athletes.
“As athletes we need to grow personally and keep improving our times. There are a lot of things to celebrate in sports and most of us are actually celebrating the fact that our personal best times have improved as compared to the past few years,” he said.
Nkoka said they were now going to sit down and analyse their problems as they have not been performing well since last year.
“It is now the right time that all local athletes sit down, analyse our problems and come up with a solution.
“This must happen as soon as possible as some of us will be competing in the Comrades and Soweto marathons,” he said.
Nkoka said they were losing their dominance in South African marathons and needed to find a solution before it’s too late.
MEN: Stephen Muzhingi
(Zim) 3:08:08, Henry Moyo (MAW) 3:08:35, Collen Makaza (Zim) 3:08:45, Gert Thys
(SA), 40, 3:09:42, Bongumusa Mthembu (SA) 3:10:16, Mthandazo Qhina (SA)
3:10:59, Tsotang Maine (Les) 3:11:51, Lucas Nonyana (SA) 3:12:03, Odwa Tunyiswa
(SA) 3:12:41 and Kimutai Lezan (Ken) 3:12:51
WOMEN: Elena Nurgalieva (Rus) 3:41:55, Natalia
Volgina (Rus) 3:45:29, Devon Crosby-Helms (US) 3:47:30, Mamorallo Tjoka (Les)
3:48:50, Samukeliso Moyo (Zim) 3:49:10, Adinda Kruger (SA) 3:50:13, Lizih
Chokore (Zim) 3:52:26, 8. Ntombesintu Mfunzi (SA) 3:52:39, Tshifhiwa Mundalamo
(SA) 3:53:00 and Paulina Njeya (SA) 3:53:29.