Inkululeko qualifies for Rio Olympic Games

Inkululeko qualifies for Rio Olympic Games

 

Luciah Phahla

Maseru

Boxer Suntele Inkululeko has qualified for the 2016 Olympic Games.

Inkululeko’s qualification brings the number of Lesotho athletes headed to Rio to four. He joins marathon runners Tšepo Mathibelle and Motlokoa Nkhabutlane as well as sprinter Mosito Lehata on the plane to the Olympics.

Inkululeko qualified last Wednesday after winning two fights and losing one at the AIBA African Olympic Qualification Event held in Yaoundé, Cameroon.

The tournament started on March 9 and ended last Sunday.

Inkululeko, who competed in the 56 kilogram weight class, was one of four Lesotho boxers at the African qualifiers. The others were Moroke Mokhothu (52kg), Qhobosheane Mohlerepe (60kg) and Tšepo Lepoqo (64kg).

There was disappointment for Inkululeko’s teammate, Mokhothu, after he lost in his qualification decider last Saturday.

Lesotho Boxing Association (LEBA) public relations officer Pheello Sofe said he was at a loss for words as to how Mokhothu lost his bout.

“We do not know how Mokhothu lost. I talked to him, he was also shocked by the decision as he dominated his opponent throughout the fight,” Sofe told thepost yesterday.

“He (Mokhothu) says even his opponent was surprised when he was announced as the winner, he could not believe it that he won. But, these things happen, sometimes decisions are made based on where you come from.”

Sofe said although LEBA was delighted for Inkululeko, the association had also pinned hopes on Mokhothu, a bronze medal winner at last year’s All Africa Games in Congo Brazzaville.

“We are very happy that we qualified with Suntele who did not have much time to prepare (but) Mokhothu is the one we had hoped would qualify because he is the one who brought a bronze from Congo Brazzaville,” Sofe said.

“But, Suntele is a good boxer we are very happy that he qualified. Mokhothu is also good but it’s unfortunate that he lost his fight,” he said.

 

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