Lehata ready for London showdown

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Mikia Kalati

STAR sprinter, Mosito Lehata, has declared himself ready for the World Championships in London next weekend.

The 27-year old runner was billed to compete at the three Diamond League Series in Rome (Italy), Paris (France) and Lausanne (Switzerland) prior to the London game but missed out due to a pulled muscle and challenges in obtaining visas.

“My preparations for the World Championships are going well and I am in good shape,” Lehata said.

“Yes I was booked for three Diamond League Series but had to pull out due to a muscle injury and visa problems but I have recovered from the injury.

Lehata admitted that it would be tough to compete in a star-studded category that includes Jamaican world champion, Usain Bolt, who is set to end his glamorous career at the event.

Lesotho’s other representatives are long distance runners, Tšepo Mathibelle and Lebenya Nkoka.

Lesotho Amateur Athletics Association Public Relations Officer, Sejanamane Maphathe, said they were hopeful the trio would do well as they were all experienced campaigners who gained a lot from participating at the Rio (Brazil) Olympics in 2016.

He commended them for persevering despite financial challenges and limited resources.

“It was difficult to give the athletes proper training ahead of such a big competition due to the financial problems that sports have face in this country.

“They deserve recognition for being patriots and continuing with their preparations under difficult circumstances,” Maphathe said.

He also said the performance of Nkhabutlane Motlokoa at the Paris Marathon in April this year which saw him snapped by international scouts has motivated his countrymen to up their game.

Motlokoa, who broke Thabiso Moqhali’s 20-year old record to become Lesotho’s fastest marathon runner, missed out on the World Championships due to injury.

“I think the athletes learnt something at the Olympic Games and want to get things right on the big stage.

“The performance of Nkhabutlane also motivated his colleagues to work harder to be successful like him.

“They are aware that a good performance in London could see them snapped up by international scouts.”

Maphathe said there was hope for sports in the country after the new government and in particular, Prime Minister, Thomas Thabane, who has shown a hands on approach, even attending the national football team games.

“There is hope now that there is a political willingness to assist sports and it is even motivating that the Prime Minister is hands on and not delegating.

“We are surely approaching a new era for sports,” he said.

 

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