Mosito says he’ll be back

Mosito says he’ll be back

Luciah Phahla

Maseru – Lesotho’s number one sprinter Mosito Lehata is enthusiastic about the future despite a disappointing showing at last month’s Rio Olympic Games.

Lehata headlined Team Lesotho and carried the country’s flag at the opening ceremony.

Many hopes were on the 27-year-old to shine after a year in which he bagged an impressive silver medal at the African Senior Championships and came within a whisker of cracking the hallowed 10-second mark in the 100 metres.

However, in Rio, Lehata fell short in both the 100 and 200 metres failing to progress past the heats in both events.

In his first interview since the Olympics, Lehata admitted he also had high hopes for what were his second Games, especially after he set a new 100 metres personal best time of 10.04 seconds in June.

“I was hoping to make it to the (100 metres) final and run a sub-10 seconds time because it was possible, even though I knew that it wouldn’t be easy,” Lehata told thepost last Wednesday.

“We worked hard before the Games and I was feeling good but in life we don’t always get what we want. I think I need to be patient.”

Lehata said he prepared well for the Olympics but things did not go as planned particularly in his favoured 100 metres where he finished fourth in his heat in a substandard time of 10.26 seconds.

“I was in lane two (in the 100 metres heat) and couldn’t see the guys in other lanes. I thought I was second and in a position to qualify for the semi-finals and I got comfortable. It is that feeling when you wish you could get another chance,” he said.

Lehata, however, maintained the Olympics were a learning curve. He said he hopes to redeem himself at next year’s IAAF World Championships in London and the Commonwealth Games in Australia in 2018.

“I learned one thing, to run every race like it is my last,” Lehata said.

“I have the World Championships next year and the Commonwealth Games in 2018; that is my focus now. I am hoping to make it to the finals (at both championships). For the Commonwealth Games I want to get a medal, just any medal,” he added.

The sprinter also believes he can dip under 10 seconds. Only 116 athletes and 18 Africans have run a sub-10 100 metres time in history.

However, Lehata was unsure if he would return to Mauritius which was his base for the past four years as he prepared for Rio 2016.

“Trust me, I can go under 10 seconds, it is just a matter of time. I am on vacation now for a month and will commence with my training in October,” Lehata said.

“About going back to Mauritius I can’t say now because I have to talk to Lesotho National Olympic Committee first. I need to work more on my start (to the race) and my core strength, then I will be ready for a sub-10 time,” he said.

Lehata, who holds the national 100 and 200 metres records, also expressed confidence in Lesotho’s upcoming sprinters saying they will join him on the international stage before long.

“We do have some good sprinters here, trust me. They will join me soon and break my records,” he said

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