Lesotho athletes grab IAAF awards

Lehata-01By Mikia Kalati

MASERU — The Lesotho Amateur Athletics Association (LAAA) says it is proud of their three athletes’ performance during the International Athletics Association Federation (IAAF) World championships that ended last Sunday in Moscow, Russia.

The country’s star sprinter, Mosito Lehata, could only reach the semi-final stage of the 200 metre race that was ultimately won by Jamaican star Usain Bolt.

Lehata managed to qualify from the group stage to make it into the semi-finals, but came short of making it into the top eight.

“The expectations were high especially after an impressive performance before the World Championships.

“But we are still very proud of him because he was competing with the best in the world,” Maphathe said.

“I think there is still room for improvement if he continues to enjoy better resources and competition.”

Lehata has been based in Mauritius and was the only athlete in the country who qualified for the Russia games on A standard.

Maphathe said the exposure was good for marathon runners Tšepo Ramonene and Jobo Ratoaoane who both failed to complete the race due to injuries and illness.

Maphathe told this paper that both athletes ended up in hospital as Ratooane failed to acclimatise and got sick during the race while Ramonene suffered a groin injury.

“The future is still bright for the two marathon runners and they have age on their side,” said Maphathe.

“They will get used to such competitions with time.”

He told this paper that they came back home with two awards that were given to Lesotho for its improvement.

Maphathe said this was largely to Lehata’s performance in the qualifying races where he ended up among the best five sprinters in the world.

“He was outstanding before the games in Russia, breaking records and beating some of the best sprinters on the continent and that is why we ended up getting the awards,” said Maphathe.

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