MASERU – Basotho athletes preparing for this year’s Tokyo Olympic Games will compete at the Botswana Track and Field National Championships in Gaborone this weekend.
The championship is scheduled for tomorrow and Sunday and, according to the Lesotho Athletics Federation (LAF) Secretary General Makara Thibinyane, Lesotho athletes left for Gaborone on Thursday this week.
The athletes are: ’Mathakane Letsie, Namakoe Nkhasi, Badboy Toka, Tebello Ramakongoana, Ramolefi Motsieloa, and Letsekang Sekonyela. “The first event will be on Saturday (tomorrow) and our first athlete to compete at the championship will be ’Mathakane Letsie on the same day while the rest will compete on Sunday,” said Thibinyane in an interview with Public Eye on Wednesday.
Letsie is to compete at the 1 500 metres, while the rest of her teammates will be competing at the 10 000 metres. Thibinyane said the athletes are expected to qualify for the Olympics and the African Senior Championships.
“We are expecting them to qualify, mostly importantly for the Olympics, or if they failed to do so should at qualify for the African Senior Championships to be held in Algeria from June 24 – 28.” Thibinyane said Tšepang Sello and Mojela Koeneshe are competing at the university games in South Africa starting today.
Both Sello and Koeneshe were in the beginning going to be part of the Lesotho athletes to compete at the Botswana Championships. “Some of our athletes who should have been part of the team such as Tšepang Sello and Mojela Koeneshe will now compete at the university games in South Africa.
“We have granted permission to compete there because they are (SA university games) also the qualifying games.” LAF held track and field events at Leshoboro Stadium in Mafeteng on May 1 in a bid to push the athletes who are on the long-list for the Olympics and African Senior Championships towards making good times.
Thibinyane said last weekend, Koeneshe registered 10.49 in the 100 metres in Potchefstroom, South Africa. “Koeneshe won the 100 metres in Mafeteng and when you compare his time to the one he made last week you will see that he is in a good shape. “He is very close to qualifying for the African Senior Championships.”
Thibinyane further said: “And to qualify (for the African Senior Championships) he must register 10.44.” Thibinyane said Koeneshe could register 10.44 at the on-going university games in South Africa and qualify for the upcoming African Senior Championships.