TABLE tennis coach Aupa Resmeni has showered praises on his charges after they came third out of six in the Region 5 Table Tennis Championship.
The games ended yesterday at Lehakoe Recreational and Cultural Centre.
The country won one silver and two bronze medals coming second behind winners South Africa and second placed Botswana.
Lesotho was meant to host all 10 AUSC Region 5 countries but only five; South Africa, Malawi, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Botswana showed up.
Resmeni told the Lesotho Times that he was very impressed with how his team played considering their poor preparations.
“They surprised me; they outdid themselves considering the shoddy preparations that they had,” Resmeni said.
“I am happy for them. I know we did not come first but considering the circumstances, we are happy with the third place.”
Resmeni said they had hoped to use the just ended tournament as qualifiers for the 2020 African Championships which in-turn will be used as the qualifiers for the Olympics. However, their dismal preparations disrupted the plan.
“If our players had made it into the finals, they would have qualified for the African Championships but that failed. If only we had prepared better, then we would have made it.
“Our best team was the female doubles which made it into the semifinals. Matšeliso Chere and Reaboka Bofelo are still young and are very promising.”
He said they also faced challenges that include lack of equipment.
“We didn’t have equipment that is up to standard and you could see that the players were struggling compared to other countries. Some of the countries even mocked us that our rackets are for students. But we have accepted that and made peace.
“I am happy with the overall performance. I know that there is still room for improvement and I want to thank all the companies that heard our pleas and came through to support us.”
Team Lesotho was made up of Mathibeli, Nthabeleng Mokeki, Chere, Tumisang Mpesi and Bofelo in the female category. Khethang Mothibi, Likhetho Mothibi, Hareteke Mapeshoane, Themba Talane and Tšeliso Chere made up the males’ team.
Ntebaleng Ratšoane, ‘Mathapelo Thuntša, Tšele Masitha,Tšehiso Ramofokeng, Mosuoe Sehloho and Paseka Mokete made up the disabled team.