Games preps begin



LAAA spokesperson Sejanamane Maphathe
LAAA spokesperson Sejanamane Maphathe

Mikia Kalati

Fourteen athletes set to represent the country at the 2015 All-Africa Games scheduled for Congo-Brazzaville in September begin their preparations in Maseru next week.

Lesotho Amateur Athletics Association public relations officer, Sejanamane Maphathe, told the Lesotho Times that the plan had been to start preparations earlier but this became impossible as some of the athletes were still at school.

“Our All-Africa Games athletes will go into camp next week. We had to postpone the training as most of them were busy with school commitments, but they are now available due to the winter break,” Maphathe said.

“We have selected a team of 14 athletes that we feel can do us proud at the Games, including three experienced campaigners namely Mosito Lehata, Lineo Sechele and Tšepo Ramonene.”

Maphathe said the trio are already hard at work as they have to represent the country at the 2015 World Athletics Championships to be held in Beijing, China.

Lehata and Sechele are based in Mauritius and Senegal respectively, where they continue to undergo special training and Maphathe believes the two, alongside marathoner Ramonene, would be key to Team Lesotho’s success.

“These three have a lot of experience when it comes to international races and are also preparing for the World Championships. They will not be part of the group going into camp next week.

“They will go to the Beijing competition, have a break, then join us in Brazzaville.

“All in all, I think we have a balanced team that will do the country proud at the Games. We just have to continue our preparations and doing the right things and we will be alright at the Games.”

The Lesotho Sports and Recreation Commission (LSRC) has since raised M4, 5 million for the country’s participation at the Games—a development hailed by Maphathe as being “positive”.

LSRC chief executive officer, Kholang Mokalanyane, recently told the Lesotho Times that the funds would also cater for the athletes’ preparations for the continental showcase.

Lesotho would be represented in athletics, boxing, tennis and taekwondo during the 3–18 September 2015 event.

Meanwhile, Maphathe said the association would soon be announcing the fate of marathon queen, ‘Mamoroalo Tjoka, who tested positive for a banned substance during last year’s December High Altitude Summer Marathon held in Mokhotlong.

Tjoka has since appeared before a disciplinary committee where she was found guilty and is expected to be handed a two-year ban from athletics.

“We are waiting for our disciplinary body to hand-out the judgement after she was found guilty. There is really nothing much to say about the issue at the moment,” Maphathe said.

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