Lehata could return to Mauritius camp

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Mikia Kalati

THE Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC) and Lesotho Amateur Athletics Association (LAAA) have confirmed that sprint star Mosito Lehata may soon return to Mauritius following an unsuccessful spell at a training camp in South Africa.

The 28-year-old runner was on an Olympic Solidarity Scholarship programme in Mauritius since 2012 but switched to South Africa last year hoping to rediscover his best form training at the same stable as South African 400 metre world champion, Wade Van Niekerk, at the University of the Free State Sports Science Institute.

The sprinter has over the years won several races in Europe and was also in the top four of the 200m at the Commonwealth Games in 2014 in Scotland but has struggled to get his groove back in the last two years.

He also won silver at the 2015 African Senior Championship and also beat former world champion, Usain Bolt in the first round of the 2013 World Champions in Russia.

“We received a report that Lehata wants to return to Mauritius and we immediately sent a delegation from the LNOC and the LAAA to his camp in the Free State where he has been training,” LNOC bn c

“They observed his situation and its then that all the parties arranged for a meeting with the management there. After the meeting they felt that the working methods of his coach in South Africa have not worked for the athlete.”

Ntsibolane said they are yet to make their final decision and would not be drawn into details. He said they felt that it was best that Lehata returns to Mauritius where he was based for almost four years.

“The most important fact is that the association is backing the athlete’s wish to return to Mauritius. We are close to finalising the issue because its urgent.

“Our biggest role as the LNOC is to get opportunities for our federations so if an athlete feels he will do better in Mauritius, we have to respect that. We have our side of the story about the Mauritius camp as well as his recent base in South Africa, but at this moment what important is the athlete.

“We still haven’t made the final decision but it’s something that will be done soon because if we agree to him going back, he has to be in Mauritius on the 1st of next month.

“While I can confirm that there are such discussions, I will not go into details. What is important is what the associations think and the athlete’s wishes,” he said.

Ntsibolane said they have assessed Lehata’s technical report from his time in the Free State and they will engage with the LAAA and the athlete to map the way forward before deciding the next move.

LAAA public relations officer Sejanamane Maphathe is back in the country and plans are at advanced staged to send him back to Mauritius.

“Lehata is back at home after his camp in South Africa failed to go work for him so we want to send him back to Mauritius.

“After his poor 2017 performance, we met with him and his coach and it was then that we realised that age is catching up with him and we agreed that he should go back to Mauritius based on the busy schedule that is ahead of us where we need his services.

“We are confident that he still has a lot to offer but his performances declined in South Africa,” Maphathe said.

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