Sprinter Mosito Lehata says he has been battling with fitness over recent weeks hence his failure to live up to expectations at the All-Africa Games which end on Saturday in Congo.
The 25-year-old finished 8th in the final of the 100-metre race on Monday—two weeks after failing to reach the semis of the 200-metre race at the World Athletics Championship in China.
The Mauritius-based runner on Tuesday told the Lesotho Times from Congo that he had now decided to take a one-month break from athletics to regain both his fitness and hunger for success.
“My fitness problems started on 10 July; I was competing in the 100-metre race in France when I pulled my hamstring so badly I could not walk afterwards for almost two weeks,” Lehata said.
“The doctors told me to have complete rest for three weeks, meaning I had to be out of action from 10-30 July.
“This was a worrying situation for me as the China and Congo Games were fast approaching, and I was not in training.
“It was only two weeks to the China Games that I started training, but I had to take it one step at a time until I could not feel the pain anymore.
“Basically, what I am saying is I lost one month and some couple of weeks of training so the biggest concern for me heading to the two competitions was my fitness.”
However, Lehata said he had to keep the injury a secret because he did not want to disappoint his family.
“I kept my faith and was praying and praying, and hoping that I would get fit. I’m here today because I kept believing,” added the sprinter.
“I could not just give-up, but the one month of training I lost cost me a lot. Although I am pain-free now, I will still take a month’s rest to recharge my batteries.”
Regarding the overall performance of Team Lesotho at the 4-19 September All-Africa Games where Lesotho had won two bronze medals by last night, in boxing and tennis doubles, Lehata said it has been a painful experience.
“I really don’t know how the others have been doing back home, but I know most of them lack regular competitions.
“I said it before that there is no way athletes can improve or do well at this level without having good competitions to help them mentally.”