Last chance for Lesotho Olympic hopefuls

NTHAKO MAJORO

MASERU – Lesotho’s track and field athletes have one last chance to book slots to the Tokyo Olympic Games tomorrow in Potchefstroom, South Africa. According to the Federation of Athletics Lesotho (FAL) Secretary General, Makara Thibinyane, the deadline for local athletes to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games is this weekend.

This past weekend, eight local athletes took a shot at Olympics qualifications but none of them reached the qualifying standard.      

Three of them, namely; Samuel Khalane, Phomolo Lekhooana and Mojela Koeneshe, failed to qualify during an event in Pretoria, South Africa last Saturday. Similarly, ’Mathakane Letsie, Tšepo Ramashamole, Toka Badboy, Namakoe Nkhasi and Tebello Ramakongoana also failed to impress in Durban, South Africa, last Friday.     

Thibinyane, however, said the federation will once again send athletes to seek qualification. One hundred metres competitor, Mojela Koeneshe and the triple jump star, Lerato Sechele, as well as Tšepang Sello in 800 metres will all be in Potchefstroom, South Africa, tomorrow for a last attempt at qualification.

Thibinyane further said: “Koeneshe came on third position in Pretoria last Saturday after clocking in 10.26 in 100 metres and made his personal best time from 10.30 which he ran during the South African University Games held in Potchefstroom in May.”

The Olympics qualifying standard for men’s 100 metres is 10.05. Thibinyane said they were hopeful that Koeneshe would eventually qualify for he keeps on improving his time race after the race.    

“One other athlete who slightly missed the qualifying standard in 5 000 metres in Durban last Friday is Tšepo Ramashamole. He also came on third position after clocking in 13:55 in 5 000, but failed to qualify as the required standard for men’s 5 000 metres in 13:13.”

Thibinyane said just like Koeneshe, Ramashamole made his personal best time in Durban. The Olympic Games have been re-scheduled from July 23 to August 8 after were postponed last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Lesotho has only two athletes who have qualified for the Tokyo Olympic Games, namely; Khoarahlane Seutloali and ’Neheng Khatala-Seutloali. The Seutloali duo (husband and wife) are both marathon runners.    

    

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