MASERU- Local youthful marathoner, Tebello Ramakongoana, has qualified for the Commonwealth Games after he scooped third position clocking 02:10:24 in the senior male category of the 2021 42.2 Kilometers Sanlam Cape Town Marathon on Sunday.
Federation of Lesotho Athletics (FAL) President, Tšeliso Pheta, congratulated Ramakongoana for the achievement and mentioned that he registered perfect timing. “He has made a very good time. If it was during the Olympics qualification, he should have qualified,” Pheta said.
The qualification standard for the Commonwealth games marathon is 2:20:00, Pheta continued, adding that Ramakongoana managed to make the best timing which puts him into the big global event. “I am confident that if he goes to compete in Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth games, he can bring home the second gold after Thabiso Moqhali’s 1998 Commonwealth games held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
We want him to go and compete in Commonwealth games for the first time and want him to go and fight for glory in 2024 during Paris Olympics. That is what we are grooming him for. If he decides to compete in Commonwealth games in July next year or he chooses to compete at the World Athletics Championships, in July the same year,” he added. The Commonwealth Games will be held from Thursday July 28 until Monday August 8 in Birmingham, England while the World Athletics Championships are scheduled for July 15 until Sunday 24 in Eugene, Oregon, United States.
Pheta further mentioned that this was Ramakongoana’s first full marathon and said it shows that when he settles in marathon program, he will become a great athlete. “We have a world class athlete in him. We are going to equip his coach so that he assists this athlete to be competitive,” he highlighted. South African Stephen Mokoka bagged first position clocking 02:10:01 followed by Ethiopian Gebru Redahgne who clocked 02:10:17. Veteran local marathoner, Lebenya Nkoka, finished on 12th while Tšepo Mathibelle managed the 41st position. Mokulubete Makatise finished 13th while Lineo Chaka managed the 28th position in females’ category.