FEDERATION of Athletics Lesotho (FAL) president, Tšeliso Pheta, has hailed local runners who managed to complete the 2022 Comrades Marathon in KwaZulu Natal on Sunday.
The marathoners ran the 89, 885km race from Pietermaritzburg to Durban and three local runners made it to the top 20.
Mabothile Lebopo was Lesotho’s top finisher in overall final standings completing the race in 5:50:03. That time had him coming fourth position in the 40-49 age category.
Moneyele Monyele clocked 5:56:42 coming 18th in the overall and seventh in 40-49 age category.
Tebeho Sello finished the race in 5:59:17 finishing eighth in the 40-49 category.
Tukane Poulo came 493rd in overall standings and 184 in the 40-49 age group. He recorded 7:34:44.
Ratefane Machachamise also finished the race in 8:05:16. He came 802nd in overall and 52 in 50-59 category. Tsotang Maine clocked 10:51:40 to come 6824th.
Matlou Majoro and Lebenya Nkoka failed to finish the race.
Pheta said the Comrades Marathon was one of the toughest races on the continent and finishing it was a huge achievement irrespective of positions and time recorded.
While none of the local athletes made it to the top 10, he said finishing in the top-20 required hard work, determination and time and financial investment.
“I would like to congratulate our athletes for a job well done,” Pheta said.
“I know that they were aiming for top positions where they would have received good prizes because they have been investing in preparations. However, I believe that they have gathered enough confidence and experience which will help them next year.”
For those who made it to the top 20, he said they stand a chance to improve and be in better positions next year.
“They must rest now until next year and recover so that next year they will start their preparations on time. Most of them are in a better position to make it into the top 10 next year. We are even praying that they get sponsors because preparations for this race are expensive,” Pheta said.
On his part Lebopo said he was happy to finish the race after failing to complete it in 2019.
He is confident that he will perform better next time.
“I started well and six metres before the finish line I was in seventh, however, I dropped. That means I have the potential to do well,” Lebopo said.