Boxers take Rio preps to Cuba

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Mokhotho in training in Cuba
Mokhotho in training in Cuba

Mikia Kalati

Boxers Moroke Mokhotho and Inkululeko Suntele, who will represent the country at next month’s Olympic Games in Brazil, have started a month-long training camp in Cuba.

The fighters and their coach, Sibusiso Keketsi, arrived on Cuba on Sunday and are sharing the same training camp with the Egyptian boxing team, which is also preparing for the Rio Olympics set for 5-21 August.

Lesotho Amateur Boxing Association (LABA) president, Takatso Ramakhula, this week told the Lesotho Times that Cuba had always been their preferred venue for training ahead of the Games.

“I should first thank the Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC) for granting us our wish and taking the two boxers to Cuba for their training camp,” Ramakhula said.

“Cuba is a powerhouse in open boxing, which is why even a big country like Egypt has taken its boxers there.

“We might not have been granted the training centre we wanted, but even the one we have is topclass when it comes to facilities.”

Ramakhula said the centre was recommended by one of their former coaches from Cuba who will assist Mokhotho and Suntele get bouts against local boxers.

“What is important is our boxers will be sparring against their Cuban and Egyptian  counterparts.

“Competing against boxers from the two countries will be very helpful because like I said, these are nations renowned for their boxers.

“We know Mokhotho is a hardworking boxer hence he managed to win silver in the last two editions of the All-Africa Games.

“But he needed good preparations before the Olympics and I believe being in Cuba will work well for him while Suntele is an extremely talented boxer who only needs to spar against top fighters before he gets to Brazil.”

In addition to the two boxers, Lesotho will be sending runners Mosito Lehata, Nomakoe Nkhasi, Lebenya Nkoka and Tšepo Mathibelle and cyclist Monese Phethetso to the Olympics.

Lesotho has never won a medal at the Games.

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