Blow for Lesotho athletes

Blow for Lesotho athletes

MASERU – Lesotho’s prospects for the 2018 Commonwealth Games have suffered a major blow with revelations that the athletics team’s preparations are behind schedule. The problem again is a lack of funds and, with just 56 days before the start of the Gold Coast showpiece in Australia, Lesotho sports fans appear set to endure another disappointing showing on the international stage.

Speaking to thepost yesterday, Lesotho Amateur Athletics Association (LAAA) public relations officer Sejanamane Maphathe said the athletics team is yet to train together, despite the Games beginning in less than two months.
The Commonwealth Games will be held from April 4 to 15 at Carrara Stadium in Queensland, Australia.

Athletics is one of five sporting codes Lesotho will compete in, the others being boxing, cycling, table tennis and weightlifting.
Team Lesotho is expected to comprise 22 athletes and, with athletics due to send 10 athletes, it is the team’s largest contingent.

Maphathe said the failure to provide funds in time will continue to derail Lesotho’s performance at international events. He said the athletics team is far behind schedule with other countries already well into their preparations for the championships.

“At the moment the members of the athletics team are practising on their own individually, they are yet to meet and train together as a team,” Maphathe revealed.

“This lack of proper preparations affects us a lot in terms of performance, we are always behind. If you look at it, we now have something like two months to prepare and we are already behind with preparations. We need to catch up. If two weeks pass from now and things are still the same then it is a problem,” he lamented.

Maphathe said the athletics team has to find a way to use the remaining time to prepare and camp together. The last time Lesotho athletics won a medal at the Commonwealth Games was in 1998 when Thabiso Moqhali claimed marathon gold in Kuala Lumpur.
Overall, Lesotho hasn’t won a Commonwealth Games medal since Moses Kopo’s boxing silver at the 2006 Melbourne edition.

Luciah Phahla

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