Four boxers off to The Bahamas

Four boxers off to The Bahamas

Maseru – Four Lesotho boxers will jet off to the Bahamas in June for the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games.

Olympians Moroke Mokhotho and Inkululeko Suntele along with prospects Phomolo Lengola and Tlholohelo Mokhesi are the four boxers that will form Lesotho’s team.

Both Lengola and Mokhesi, who fight in the 49 kilogram weight class, travelled to the African Union Sports Council Region (AUSC) Region 5 Games in Angola in December where Mokhesi returned with a bronze medal while Lengola did not compete as he was underage.

Mokhotho (52 kg) and Suntele (56 kg), meanwhile, were part of Lesotho’s team at the 2016 Olympic Games last August and both will be making their first international appearances since Rio when they compete at the Commonwealth Youth Games.

Lesotho Boxing Association (LEBA) public relations officer Pheello Sofe said plans are underway for the team to visit Botswana in March before departing for the Bahamas.

“We are busy with our preparations for the Commonwealth Youth Games this coming June,” Sofe said. “We are sending two senior and two junior boxers to the competition. The junior boxers were at the Region 5 Games in Angola last year; the seniors are Suntele and Mokhotho.”

He continued: “The boxers will continue to participate in local tournaments against South African boxers to keep fit. We are also looking to visit Botswana around March or April. When we were in Angola (for the Region 5 Games) we realised Botswana is a very strong team and they will help us a lot (in our preparations).”

Sofe said Lesotho’s four-man squad will have a pre-tournament camp before departing for the Commonwealth Youth Games. He said LEBA is still looking for a suitable venue.

First on the team’s to-do list, however, is the Dihlabeng Opening Boxing Tournament which will be held in Bethlehem next month on a date yet to be announced.

“The boxers are very motivated,” Sofe said. “They have been training since the 2nd of January and it is a mixture of players who went to Angola and Suntele and Mokhotho who went to the Olympics.”

“The ones that went to Angola came home with medals and that has motivated them to work hard. They are hoping to come back with something from the Commonwealth (Youth) Games while Suntele and Mokhotho are also motivated to improve on their performance in Rio,” Sofe explained.

Last month LEBA sent six boxers to the Region 5 Games in Angola.

Two did not participate because they were underage and overage respectively.

Three of the four that competed – Mokhesi, Thabiso Ranthamane and Mohau Tsie – won bronze medals while Sehlako Sehlako did not progress past the first round after losing to an Angolan opponent.

Luciah Phahla

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