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Makae’s poor form persists

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Leemisa Thuseho

LESOTHO’S top mountain bike (MTB) cyclists Tumelo Makae continued with his poor form after failing to rise to the occasion during the 2021 Otztaler Cross Country Olympic MTB Festival in Austria last weekend.

Makae failed to finish the race only completing three out of seven laps. The performance saw him 59th out of 70 riders in the men’s elite category. This was Makae second official race this year.

His first race was a fortnight ago in the 2021 Verona MTB International Cup in Italy where he came 53rd out of 190 in the senior men’s category. He also failed to finish the race managing just three of the eight laps.

Makae is based in Switzerland where he is under a Lesotho Tokyo 2020 Olympic Athletes Solidarity Scholarship funded by the Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC).

His scholarship to train at World Cycling Training Centre (WCTC) commenced in 2017 and was expected to end in August last year. However, it was extended until the forthcoming Tokyo Olympics. This after the Olympics which were initially set for July and August last year were postponed to this year on the back of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Federation of Cycling Lesotho (CFL) public relations officer Malefane Morie said he was unsure whether or not Makae’s form has been affected by the high level of competition.

“It is true that for the past two recent races he didn’t perform well but I am not in a position to say whether it the completion was too tough for him or the problem is with the rider himself. I think his coach is better placed to comment on that.

“For me, I don’t think the competition has been too tough for him based on the knowledge that we sent him to Switzerland because he is our top rider. He has been in Europe since 2017 and my understanding is that he should now be better equipped to compete at that level,” Morie said.

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