LESOTHO’s Commonwealth Games boxing team manager, Katiso Tšenoli, says he is impressed with his team’s performance at the regional Zone IV tournament held in Mozambique from Thursday and ended yesterday night.
The Lesotho Boxing Association (LBA) had sent a seven-member team to Mozambique to fine tune their preparations for the Commonwealth Games that are scheduled for April in Gold Coast, Australia, where LBA will be sending five athletes.
On Thursday Thabo Molefe, Bokang Khoai and Mokhachane Moshoeshoe lost on points to Botswana, Seychelles and Swaziland respectively while Qhobosheane Mohlerepe won via a technical knockout to his Swaziland opponent.
In the semi-finals on Friday, Moroke Mokhotho and Mohlerepe managed to book their spots in the finals with wins against Mozambique and Zimbabwe respectively while Mantoa Ranone and Kokole Paneng lost to Mozambican opponents.
Moroke subsequently won gold while Mohlepere lost on points against SA in the final and settled for silver.
Both Ranone and Paneng won the bronze medals.
Tšenoli said the tournament helped them to gauge how far they have gone in terms of their preparations for the Commonwealths Games.
“Of course our boxers didn’t really perform well like we had expected, but I think it was a good decision to take them to this tournament because it has helped us to identify where we need to improve,” Tšenoli said.
“We are also very impressed by Mokhotho and Mohlepere’s performances as they have shown a lot of maturity in their fights and they both stand a chance to bring home Gold medals.”
Tšenoli, who is also LBA public relations officer, said they hope to get a full camp upon their return from the tourney in order to have enough time to work on their team.
“The whole team is promising and they just need touch ups here and there. We are hoping that we can be able to at least get a full camp immediately on our return from this tournament so that we will have enough time to work on all areas that need attention,” he said.
He said all the athletes in the team had shown a lot of commitment and determination and he believes that this will make the job easier for them.
“There has been a lot of commitment and determination from this group so that is promising. This gives us confidence going into preparations and if we get all that we for preparations before we go to Gold Coast, our performance will be much better.
“This tournament has also showed us that it is very tough to fight against host opponents as in most cases the judges favour them, but like I have said, it was a learning curve and that says our boxers should be stronger when playing the hosts because they have learnt the hard way,” Tšenoli said.