THE coach of the Lesotho athletics team which heads to the African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 Games next week, Khauta Makhooana, says he is confident that his team will do the country proud at the competitions.
Lesotho will be represented in athletics, boxing, ladies’ football, volleyball, tennis and elite athletics with disability at the games scheduled for 6 to 16 December 2018.
The athletics team is made up of thirty athletes and includes middle distance starlet, Manqabang Tsibela, who bagged two gold medals at the 2016 edition of the games in Angola.
“In the time that I have been working with the team I have seen a lot of positive energy that has given me hope that they will do well in Botswana,” Makhooana said.
“We trooped into camp last weekend and I have seen a lot of determination. I’m confident we will do the country proud at the games.”
Makhoana said he feels there is pressure on his team to surpass the achievements of 2016 in Angola where the likes of Tsibela, Badboy Toka and Tšepang Sello bagged several awards.
Tsibela walked away with a gold medal in the ladies’ 1500 and 3000 metres races while Sello won gold in the ladies’ 800 metres and silver in the 1500 metres.
In the male category, Toka brought home two gold medals in the 3000 and 5000 metre races.
“After our athletes brought medals in 2016, we have pressure to bring home more medals than they did.
“However, at the moment we only have a team of 22 athletes in camp as others are still busy with school commitments,” he said.
Makhooana also tipped Tsibela to pick-up from where he left off in Angola in 2016.
“I have no doubt that she will bring us medals like she did two year ago. She is always focused on her job and is looking very motivated.
“She is also an inspiration to other young athletes in the team as they all look up to her,” Makhooana said.
The coach said they are now working on the confidence of their athletes to ensure that they are mentally and physical ready for battle.
The Lesotho team for the AUSC games is expected to leave the country on the 4th of December for Botswana.