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Koneshe upbeat ahead of Commonwealth Games

Leemisa Thuseho

SPRINTER Mojela Koneshe is bubbling with confidence ahead of the upcoming Commonwealth Games.

The games will be held in Birmingham, England from 28 July until 8 August.

Koneshe is part of the 21 athletes leaving today for the games. He will be competing in 100m.

He said he is so determined that the only thing on his mind is clinching a medal and making Lesotho proud.

“I’m not thinking of anything except winning a medal. I hope to make my country proud,” he said.

Koneshe will be making his debut in the seniors’ competition after taking part in the Commonwealth Youth Games held in Bahamas in 2017.

He said his experience from the games and other competitions would come in handy.

Koneshe’s first senior competition was the 2022 African Athletics Championships held in Mauritius last month where he clocked 10.40.

Speaking to the Lesotho Times over the weekend, Koneshe said he was upbeat ahead of the games and ready for the challenge.

“I have been training hard for the Commonwealth Games. I am happy that I’m in a better shape as compared to last year.

“I am confident that I will go through the heats and eventually reach the finals. My aim is to win a medal,” Koneshe said.

He said his target is to break Mosito Lehata’s national record of 10.11 in 100m, set in 2015.

“I’m not leaving room for any mistakes. This is the first time I will be competing at the Commonwealth Games at senior level and I will give it my best shot.”

Koneshe said he had put behind his unimpressive performance at 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games behind.

“I didn’t perform well at those games. I ran 11:09 second in the semi-finals. I’ve put all that behind and I’m now focusing on winning a medal in England.

“I was on 17 then and I did not take my career seriously. But now things have changed. I’m now more focused and dedicated to my training programme,” he said.

Koneshe said he would use the Commonwealth Games to improve his times ahead of next year’s World Athletics Championships to be held in Budapest, Hungary.

He is also eyeing the 2024 Olympic Games to be held in Paris, France.

“I hope to use these Commonwealth Games to earn my maiden qualification for the next year’s World Championships. I also hope to participant at the 2024 Olympics. It is therefore important that I do well in England.”

He said that although he did not perform well at events such as the Youth Commonwealth Games and Under 18 World Championships, things were gradually looking up for him.

“I qualified for the Youth Commonwealth Games and Under 18 World Championships when I was 17, but failed to reach the finals. I am not happy with my performance at junior level at major international events.

“But now I’m happy that I have started well at senior level. I am more committed and my times have improved. I am now running 10.23. I have managed to do this by changing my lifestyle and turning professional,” Koneshe said.

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