Nkoka wins Mokhotlong marathon

Nkoka wins Mokhotlong marathon

MOKHOTLONG – Respected Lesotho marathon veteran, Lebenya Nkoka, claimed first position at the 16th edition of the Lesotho High Altitude Summer Marathon held in Mokhotlong last Saturday.  The annual race attracts runners from around Africa and the winners of the men’s and women’s 42.2 kilometre race both walked away with M120 000 in prize money.
Nkoka beat last year’s winner Teboho Noosi who had to settle for third position and M40 000.
Second-placed Lehlohonolo Raletebele received M80 000.

In the women’s race, Monicah Jeprkorir Mengich of Kenya dominated the race from start to finish and was a worthy winner while Lineo Chaka and Ntebaleng Letšela finished second and third respectively. A thrilled Nkoka said he did not believe he could win the race.
“My target was just to run for the sake of it, to run anything I felt is best for me,” Nkoka said afterwards.

“This is a big marathon in our country and I think it should attract many athletes. The organisers should release the pamphlets on time so that we can distribute them to other international athletes wherever we are, especially when racing in foreign countries.”
“This marathon is endorsed via the internet and some athletes are not even aware of it. If we are given the pamphlets on time, we can be able to distribute them everywhere to attract a massive number of athletes so that it can grow,” he said.

Due to the race’s demanding high altitude some athletes have asked for the High Altitude Marathon’s prize monies to be increased.
Nkoka encouraged fellow athletes to stay focused and strive for the best.
“The prizes won are motivating and amazing although some athletes complain about the altitude and demand the prizes to be increased,” Nkoka added.

Last year’s champion, Noosi, congratulated Nkoka. He said the two have competed in several races together this year and have training sessions jointly.
“I did not expect to have got what I have achieved today; it’s a surprise that I made it to the finish line. I did not even have a target time to finish the race to show that I wasn’t into the race, however, I still made it,” he said.

“We are happy to see local athletes dominating in the race so that the prize monies remain in this country for the growth of the economy as well as to improve the infrastructure in Lesotho. We want to have more local athletes to participate in the race and it’s only through parents’ support we can achieve that. Discipline takes one places. Every athlete needs to be disciplined in order to prosper and flourish,” Noosi said.  Letsekang Sekonyela scooped M20 000 for winning the men’s 21km race while ‘Neheng Khatala won the women’s event.

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