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Difficult start for Lesotho at AUSC Games

Mikia Kalati

TEAM Lesotho has endured a tough start at the ongoing African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 Games in Botswana.

The netball team lost their two opening matches to Malawi and Zambia respectively.

The Munyaradzi Shanduka coached outfit suffered a 60-30 defeat to regional netball powerhouse Malawi in their opening match on Friday and lost 53-35 to Zambia in their second match on Saturday.

They will take on Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia respectively in their remaining three games.

Shanduka told the media after the loss to Zambia on Saturday that his girls suffered from ack of exposure.

“To be very honest, the girls are playing well but the only difference from other nations is that we lack experience which is key at this stage,” Shanduka said.

“Our kids are still young and they need to mature. Even though the Zambians were not that tall but they are mature so much that you even start to question if they are really under-20.

“They are physically fit but we gave them a tough match. We hope to get better results in the remaining three games.”

The netball coach said his side gave an improved display against Zambia compared to their first match against Malawi.

“We are getting there. Even the jitters are disappearing now and we even drew 11-11 in the first quarter. The problems started in the second quarter and what is required is to keep these girls together and ensure that they continue to prepare for 2020.

“My focus is on 2020,” he said.

In tennis, Nyathi Motlojoa has kept Lesotho’s hopes of a medal alive after qualifying for the semi-final on Friday after a 6-3 and 7-5 victory over Tsepo Mosarwa of Botswana.

The American based Lesotho tennis golden boy started his regional campaign with a victory over James Kaoma of Zambia on Thursday.

Motloajoa will face Mozambican Bruno Nhavane today (Sunday) with the hope of making it to the final.

He was in action again in the doubles on Saturday morning along with Sempe Mpaleng but they lost to Botswana duo of Mosarwa and Tsiang Tshololofelo.

The Lesotho tennis team coach Seapei Senatla was confident that Motloajoa will continue in his impressive form on Sunday to secure Lesotho’s first medal at the games.

“He has been outstanding since he started his campaign at the games and I expect him to continue doing so when he plays in the singles’ semi-finals on Sunday.

“He gave a very good performance against an opponent from Botswana to get to the semi-finals and we know that it will be a tough came but expect him to come on top.

“We are all hoping that he will bring the country their first medal at the games because he has defeated top opponents to get to the semi-finals,” Senatla said.

Boxing and athletics will be in action next weekend.

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