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Lehata qualifies for world champs

by Lesotho Times
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Mikia Kalati

LESOTHO’S record holder in the 100 and 200metre sprint events, Mosito Lehata finally secured qualification for the August 2017 World Championships after winning Monday’s Prague International Meeting in the Czech Republic.

He finished ahead of Kiryu Yoshihide of Japan and South Africa’s Roto Thando to book his place at the World Championships in London.

It was no mean feat for Lehata to beat Yoshihide and Roto who are the second fastest sprinters in their respective countries.

Lehata has over the years been the first Lesotho athlete to book his place at major events, including last year’s 2016 Olympics in Brazil.

He however, struggled this time as his first place finish in Botswana in April fell short of the qualifying standards.

“I am more than happy to have finally qualified for the World Champions,” Lehata said.

“It has been a tough road and I had to be strong mentally. I achieved it with a big win beating some of the best in the world.”

The Lesotho star sprinter said he had started having sleepless nights as the clock was ticking towards August leaving him with limited time to secure qualification.

“I had been training very well but four days ago I had a race in France where I did not do well,” Lehata said.

“I was so worried afterwards and I could not even sleep. I knew that I had to get back up and that is exactly what I did on Monday to qualify for the world championships.”

He said his target was now to improve his times in order to be able to compete better in his star studded category which often includes the likes of world record holder Usain Bolt and Akani Sibine.

Lehata joins the trio of long distance runners, Tšepo Mathibelle, Lebenya Nkoka and Motlokoa Nkhabutlane as the three athletes that have qualified for the London showpiece.

However, Nkhabutlane who is the national record holder in the marathon category, has said he would not be going to London, arguing it is too late for him to start preparing for such a major competition.

Meanwhile, the Lesotho Amateur Athletics Association (LAAA) is still hopeful that Namankoe Nkhasi and Tšepang Sello could still qualify for the World Championships when they participate in this month’s Southern African region Track and Field Championship in Zimbabwe.

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