Nkhabutlane makes plea to LNOC


Mikia Kalati

THE Lesotho marathon golden boy, Motlokoa Nkhabutlane, has pleaded that the Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC) meets his conditions for him to avail himself for national duty again.

Nkhabutlane who came fourth at the Rome Marathon on Sunday, said he believes the time that he clocked in Italy would have been good enough to win a medal at the ongoing Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast where Lesotho has performed dismally.

The former Two Oceans winner came eighth in the Paris Marathon last year and broke a 26-year old national record set by Thabiso Moqhali in the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games where he won gold.

Speaking to the Lesotho Times soon after his arrival from Paris, Nkhabutlane said he was disappointed to see athletes under the Olympic Solidarity Scholarship continue to fail the country at the big stage with poor performances at the ongoing Commonwealth Games.

The marathoner pulled out of the team for Gold Coast after the Lesotho Amateur Athletics Association (LAAA) and LNOC failed to meet his needs.

“If they had met me half way, I would be at the Commonwealth games now and possibly with a chance of winning a medal for the country,” Nkhabutlane.

“I think you should look out for the times that will be clocked by the winners at the game and you will see that it is likely to be what I clocked in Rome.”

Nkhabutlane said it was disappointing that the athletes that have been given scholarships and are taken care of my LNOC continue to disappoint.

“I really do not understand why they continue to let the country down with all the support they are getting. It’s either them or their coaches who are useless because I would make use of such opportunities if I was in their shoes.

“That is the kind of assistance that I want to be able to avail myself because I do not want to be in a position where I run but my family continues to struggle.

“I end up having to focus on running in several competitions because the money I get there takes care of my family. I always have to make sure that they have food on the table,” he said.

Nkhabutlane also said running in competitions such as the Paris and Rome marathons has taken his career to another level and his wishes he had been exposed to such lucrative races at a younger age.

“I think this is what we need as a country. To expose our young runners to such marathons so that they do not struggle when they represent the country at games like the Commonwealth and Olympics.

“I was in the top four with two Kenyans and one runner from Bahrain, but a big number in the top 20 were from East Africa in including Kenya and Ethiopia. This is why they always do well at international competitions.

“For me my target in Rome was to be among the top three, but I am still happy with fourth position and believe that there is room for improvement going forward,” Nkhabutlane said.

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