Concerns over Tsibela’s fitness

 As star runner finds new home ahead of AUSC Games

NTHAKO MAJORO

MASERU – Promising national star athlete, Manqabang Tsibela, has joined Chaplin Development Athletics Clubs (CADC). Tsibela, 17, joins CADC following concerns over her fitness level going into the African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 Youth Games scheduled for December in Maseru. One of local athletics officials who is on record as having expressed concern over the runner’s fitness is Secretary General of the Federation of Athletics Lesotho (FAL), Makara Thibinyane.

Thibinyane revealed to Public Eye in August this year at the end of the National Youth Championship held at Setsoto Stadium that Tsibela was not in good shape at all. Tsibela has been under the mentorship of Commonwealth Gold Medallist, Thabiso Moqhali, at the Matsoake Athletics Club.   Having joined CADC, she is now under the watchful eye of Mokete ‘Chaplin’ Mpomane who is the coach for the Berea-based club.

“She has been in my hands for more than three weeks now training, and processes relating to her transfer are ongoing,” said Mpomane in an interview with Public Eye. “Her is responding very well to training sessions, and added to that is the massive support from her male teammates at the club,” Mpomane said, adding that a lot of progress has been achieved since Tsibela joined CADC.

“It seems there is a lot of progress and she seems to be happy with that.” Mpomane, however, said he has realised they still have to work a lot on her speed. “What I have noticed is that she was yet to train on sprints and seed. All she seems to have been focusing on was distance running. So now that she is going to compete on track, she needs to be familiar with what she is going to be competing in.”

Tsibela is going to represent Lesotho in the upcoming Region 5 Youth Games and Mpomane said his new acquisition will have to excel in track competitions – hence need for speed and endurance. Mpomane is aware, though, of the limited time remaining before the Games begin, forcing him to accelerate training in a combination of speed and endurance. “But I think she is going to do well because she is looking forward to shine.”

What has also proved a positive for Tsibela, Mpomane said, is the fact that she also has support from the Lesotho Sports and Recreation Commission (LSRC). “LSRC is giving her a huge support. They do everything for her, including transporting her to and from our training sessions going home.” Mpomane would not be drawn into commenting on the runner’s overall fitness during her stay with Moqhali, only pointing out that “as coaches we can’t say the other coach was failing to guide an athlete the right way.

“All I can say is that I am expecting proper transition from the Moqhali camp.” One of Tsibela’s managers, Mofihli Makoele, also confirmed to this publication that athlete has joined CADC. “Yes, she has joined his (Mpomane) team, meaning she is now her official athlete until further notice,” said Makoele.

He said they decided to move Tsibela from Matsoake to CADC since they were lately struggling to connect her with Moqhali as the club’s coach. “So we have ended up taking her to CADC because we believe she will be getting the attention she needs as an athlete there.” Tsibela is one of local athletes who is tipped to win a gold medal at the upcoming Region 5 Youth Games, which is the reason why her fitness has been worrying factor to many officials ahead of the regional youth games.

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