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Lesotho athletes fail at Youth Games


Moorosi Tsiane

LESOTHO National Olympics Committee (LNOC) Vice Secretary General, Letsatsi Ntsibolane, says the poor performance by Lesotho athletes at the Youth Commonwealth Games is ample proof that the country is lagging behind in the development of athletes.

Five of Lesotho’s six representatives have already been eliminated at the Games that end today in the Bahamas and Ramahooana Ramahoona has been left to shoulder the country’s hopes of a medal when he takes part in today’s cycling competition.

The other five athletes are Mojela Koeneshe and Limakatso Mohale (100 metres and 800 metres athletics respectively), Tlholohelo Mokhesi and Phomolo Lengoloa (boxing) and Nyathi Motlojoa (tennis).

Mokhesi and Lengoloa were knocked out in the quarterfinals while Koeneshe was eliminated in the semifinals.

Koeneshe and Mohale were knocked out after finishing last in their heats while Motlojoa was also eliminated in the semifinals.

“Sport is more like a science and it improves time after time,” Ntsibolane said yesterday, adding, “What helped athletes to win in the past no longer works”.

“Unfortunately, as a country, we are still stuck in the old ways of doing things and the results are just there for everyone to see.”

He said winning medals in big competitions would remain a pipe dream as long as the country did not change and start following proper channels of developing athletes.

“This is a very serious issue that should not be taken for granted. You can’t just take athletes to participate and expect them to win when you don’t even know how they have been training.

“Until we start on long term development programmes, we will never be satisfied with results.”

He said government through the Lesotho Sport and Recreation Commission and LNOC had a responsibility to implement the necessary programmes.

“The Ministry of Education must not be left out because we first need to identify sporting disciplines where we are strong and place the athletes in at least 10 schools.

“The government can meet us half way by at least paying the coaches while LNOC can also source funding and solidarity scholarships for young athletes. With time, the programmes can be expanded throughout the country.

“Botswana is one of the countries that is currently benefiting from such programmes,” Ntsibolane said.


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