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Athletes sweat for C’wealth Games spots

by Lesotho Times
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Moorosi Tsiane

THE Lesotho Commonwealth Games Association (LCGA) has 22 spots for athletes set to represent the country at next March’s games slated for Gold Coast, Queensland in Australia.

However, the body wants sportspeople with international experience to ensure Lesotho does not just make up the numbers at the international multi-sport event.

Team Lesotho Chef de Mission, Bothobile Shebe, told a media briefing held this week in Maseru that 22 spots were available for athletics, cycling, boxing weightlifting and table tennis.

She said the LCGA was still waiting for the sports federations to submit names of athletes they have selected to compete in the 2018 Commonwealth Games which will be held from 26 March to 15 April.

The spots are for five females and as many males in athletics, five males in boxing, three males and one female in cycling, one male and one female in table tennis and one male weightlifter.

“We have spots for 22 athletes so far, and unfortunately, we are yet to get the names of their selections for the national team,” Advocate Shebe said.

“Only weightlifter, Bafokeng Moeti, has qualified for the games, having received a direct invitation from the international weightlifting body.

“We are expecting to get all the names from the associations by the end of this month.”

This year, the LCGA has enforced stricter team selection requirements on the sports associations, she said.

“We sat down with the associations and discussed how we want things to work. “One of the pre-requisites for any player to qualify for a spot is international experience because we want athletes that can compete and not to just go there to add the numbers.

“So, we have learnt from past experiences that lack of exposure to international competitions cost us in previous tournaments.”

Adv Shebe also indicated that some athletes with Commonwealth and Olympics scholarships may participate in the games.

“Our national federations have long started with preparations and have been hosting national competitions while some have already been sending athletes to different competitions outside the country.

“There are also athletes who are already in Commonwealth and Olympic scholarships respectively but that doesn’t guarantee them a place in this team if their associations feel they don’t fit the bill,” she added.

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