Lehata speaks on Africa Games performance
SPRINTER Mosito Lehata says despite his failure to bag medals at the just ended Africa Games in Rabat, Morocco, he was proud of his performance.
Lehata finished fifth in both 100m and 200m semifinals and failed to make it into the finals of the games that started on 16 August and ended on Friday.
His time of 10.44 was not enough to book him a spot in the 100m final while he clocked 20.87 in 200m which also couldn’t take him to the final.
Lehata told the Sunday Express from Morocco that his target is to now prepare for next year’s Tokyo Olympics.
“I am proud that I lost the way I did,” Lehata said.
“Of course, I would have been happier to have made it through to the finals but I had a good race.
“I have been struggling with injuries but this time I have managed to stay healthy. Previously, I couldn’t run heats and semifinals on the same day but I have done that countless times this year. Our target is to be in the Olympic Games next year and we are working towards that. That is our main focus,” Lehata said.
The 30-year-old sprinter said he was still hopeful that he can qualify for the Olympics and age is still on his side.
“I ran 10.15 this year which is close to the national record of 10.11. What I learned is that in sprints you can perform well even up to 34 years. Justin Gatlin from America is 36 but he is still the best in world. Age is whatever you think it is. You are as old as you think you are.
“I have qualified for the Olympics before and I will qualify again,” he said.
Lehata could not be drawn into commenting on his preparations for the Olympics.
“I wouldn’t want to talk about the preparations because it will appear as if I am making excuses and I am not that type.”
He said he is also aware that the country is often frustrated whenever he does not win in big stages but said that would soon change.
“That is the nature of sport. People see my potential and expect a lot from me and I understand that. However, in sport, it takes one race to change everything. We can’t give up on Likuena because they have never qualified for AFCON. We must support them until they make it,” Lehata said.