Tsibela bags Lesotho’s first AUSC gold medal

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Mikia Kalati

LESOTHO’S long-distance runner Manqabang Tsibela yesterday cruised to victory to hand team Lesotho its first gold medal at the ongoing 2018 African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 Games in Botswana.

The 14-year-old clocked 9:37:30 to beat Carmie Prinsloo of South Africa to the gold medal in the female’s 3000m race at the National Stadium in Gaborone.

Laone Moloi of Botswana came third while the Lesotho duo of Retšepile Mosebotsane and Relebohile Motsamai finished fifth and sixth respectively.

The Mokhotlong born runner had already won a bronze medal in the 1500m on Tuesday and has now completed a double of medals as she did in Angola in the 2016 edition of the games.

Her gold medal on Wednesday increased Lesotho’s tally of medals to three as tennis sensation Nyathi Motlojoa delivered Lesotho’s first medal on Monday after he came third.

Tsibela was immediately taken for a doping test after winning the 3000m race which she dominated from the start to the end.

Tsibela told the Lesotho Times after the race that she was scared of the South African, Prinsloo, who is two years older than her and was also her main competitor at the 2016 games in Angola.

She also said she was calm when she was taken for the doping test after winning the race.

“I’m very excited to have won this race but I was scared of the South African because I had faced her before and I know she is a good runner,” Tsibela said.

“But it was a good feeling in the end to have won the race and win a medal for my country.”

The 14-year-old runner, who won the racing running bare-footed after failing to defend her 1500m race on Tuesday, said she feels uncomfortable using the running shoes.

“I feel comfortable running without the shoes. I think I struggled because of the shoes on Tuesday in the 1500m race but today I didn’t struggle because I decided to run bare-footed.

“I grew up running bare-footed and it’s nothing new for me,” Tsibela said.

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