Lehata to lead team to Commonwealth Games

Lehata to lead team to Commonwealth Games

MASERU– Sprinter Mosito Lehata will headline Lesotho’s team for next month’s 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia.In total, Lesotho will be represented by 20 athletes – 13 men and seven women – across four sporting codes at the global showpiece to be held from April 4 to 15 at Carrara Stadium in Queensland.

The squad was confirmed yesterdday by the Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC) and the four sports the country will compete in are athletics, boxing, cycling and weightlifting. Lehata, who holds the national 100 and 200 metres records, is the most decorated athlete in the group.
He is a silver medal winner from the 2016 African Senior Championships and came within a whisker of cracking the hallowed 10-second mark in the 100 metres during the same season with a personal best of 10.11 seconds.

A two-time Olympian, Lehata also has previous experience of the Commonwealth Games although it will ultimately go down as an unhappy memory.
In 2014 at the Glasgow edition, Lehata reached the 200 metres final but a thigh injury during the race cost him a bronze medal as he was beaten at the line by Jamaica’s Jason Livermore.

Now recognised amongst the continent’s top sprinters, the 28-year-old received an Olympic Solidarity scholarship last November to prepare for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Since then Lehata has been training at the University of the Free State Sports Science Institute under esteemed coach Taanie Ans alongside South African 400 world champion Wayde van Niekerk and American sprinter Curtis Mitchell who won 200 metres bronze at the 2013 World Championships.

Team Lesotho is expected to leave for Australia early next month; however, its preparations have been blemished by controversies surrounding a lack of funding. The athletics and boxing associations, for example, have complained they have been unable to adequately prepare their teams because of a lack of funds and it remains to be seen how Lesotho will fare at the Commonwealth Games.
The last time Lesotho won a medal at the Games was in 2006 when Moses Kopo claimed a boxing silver medal in Melbourne.

Team Lesotho:
Athletics:
Women: Lerato Sechele (triple jump), Tšepang Sello (800 metres), Mokulubete Makatise (1500 and 5 000 metres), Lineo Chaka (5 000 and 10 000 metres) and ‘Neheng Khatala (marathon)

Men: Mosito Lehata (100 and 200 metres), Badboy Toka and Ramolefi Motsieloa (5000 and 10 000 metres) and Tšepo Mathibelle (marathon)

Boxing:
Women: ‘Mantoa Ranone (57kg)

Men: Thabo Molefe (52kg), Moroke Mokhotho (56kg), Qhobosheane Mohlerepe (60kg), Mokhachane Moshoeshoe (69kg) and Kokole Paneng (75kg)

Cycling
Women: Likeleli Makatise (MTB)

Men: Phetetso Monese and Tumelo Makae (both MTB), Malefetsane Lesofe (Road)

Weightlifting:
Men: Bafokeng Moeti (69kg)

Officials:
Management:
Bothobile Shebe (Chef de Mission), Likeleko Lepitla (general team manager), Realeboha Segoete (admin), Moshoeshoe Molapo (press attaché), Makhetha Mosotho (team doctor), Relebohile Mabote (team physiotherapist), Letsatsi Ntsibolane (team attaché)

Team Officials:
Sejanamane Maphathe (team manager, athletics) Selloane Tšoaeli and Thabelo Ranthona (coach, athletics), Sibusiso Keketsi and Liphalo Moeketsi (coach, boxing), Mark West and Stephen Gallagher (coach, cycling), and Relebohile Motjamela (coach, weightlifting)

Official Delegates:
‘Matlohang Moiloa-Ramopoqo (LNOC president)
Morake Raleaka (LNOC secretary general)

Luciah Phahla

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