Boxers leave for Zambia

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Leemisa Thuseho

TOP boxers Moroke Mokhotho and Arena Pakela left the country yesterday for Zambia where they will be in a training for six weeks.

The duo is preparing for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, which are running from 23 July to 8 August 2021.

The boxers will be in Zambia along with their coach, Hopolang  Mabele.

Lesotho Boxing Association (LeBA) public relations officer Rethabile Mohale told the Lesotho Times this week that the boxers were expected to leave the yesterday and return on 2 June.

He said the boxers are being made to camp in a country that has already qualified for the Olympics to ensure they learn from the best.

Although the association is still continuing to train the duo, it has failed to qualify for the Olympics. However, there is a little hope that Lesotho could be represented via a tripartite position which the country has already applied for. Tripartite places are given to countries that have failed to qualify for the Olympics.

“Our boxers failed to qualify but there are still chances that we can have boxers at the games through the recently introduced qualifying system based on rankings of our top ranked boxer Pakela (75kg) who is fifth in his weight range,” Mabele said.

“Although only the top ranked boxer in the range qualifies, Pakela may still qualify because other boxers above him may not be available for the Olympics for various reasons. Therefore, we are looking to forward to seeing what will transpire.

“As for Mokhotho, we have already applied for a tripartite position for him via the Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC) and we are still waiting for the response. We have decided not to wait for the response but to continue preparing the boxers in the meantime.”

Mohale is hopeful that by next week, they will be sure of the duo’s fate with regards to the games.

He said LeBA believes that camping outside the country will give the boxers a chance to attend tournaments that might be organised in their host country while also exposing them boxers from other countries who are also camping in Zambbia while preparing for the Olympics.

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