Mathibelle happy with  second-place finish in Soweto

Mathibelle happy with second-place finish in Soweto

Luciah Phahla

Maseru – Lesotho marathon runner Tšepo Mathibelle says he is proud of his second place finish in Sunday’s Soweto Marathon.
Mathibelle completed the 42.2-kilometre course in a time of 2 hours 21 minutes and 46 seconds, a minute behind the eventual winner, Sintayehu Legese Yinesu of Ethiopia.
It was the first time Mathibelle took part in the historic marathon and he only had a month to prepare.
His performance came after he failed to finish the marathon at the 2016 Rio Olympics in August due to dehydration.

In his only race since Rio, Mathibelle finished second in the 21 kilometre eThekwini Township2Township half marathon in Durban last month.
Speaking to thepost yesterday, Mathibelle said there was a point he felt he could win the Soweto Marathon.

Mathibelle was amongst the leading pack after the halfway mark but Yinesu broke away with less than 10 kilometres to go, leaving Mathibelle and his compatriot Seutloali Khoarahlane behind.
A third local runner, Moses Mosuhli, finished fifth on a fruitful day for Lesotho in Soweto.
“I am happy, this was the first time I was competing in the Soweto Marathon and I did not run the way I always do in other races but I controlled my pace until the end,” Mathibelle said.
“Next time I will be more prepared because this year I only ran in Durban and finished second, then after that I have been focusing on this race.”
Mathibelle spent one month training at the High Performance Athletics Training Camp in Kaptagat, Kenya prior to the Olympics.

He said he gained a lot from his experience in Kenya.
“I learnt when I was in Kenya, I learnt different ways of running so next year definitely I will use what I have learnt to improve my performance,” Mathibelle said.
Mathibelle also took a stab at why local athletes repeatedly perform well at South African races but fail at international events such as the Olympics.
“It’s the weather conditions,” he said.
“When we go to these international races we do prepare for them, we do go there with the aim to win but most of the time the weather conditions affect our performance.”

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