National taekwondo team manager, Mojapela ‘Mefane, has blamed lack of international exposure for Lesotho’s poor showing during the recent World Taekwondo Championship held in Russia.
Lebohang Motumi, Mahloane Mahloane and Moloisane Marumo represented the country in the 12- 18 May tournament but were all knocked out in the preliminary stage of the tournament.
According to ‘Mefane, lack of competition at the highest level cost the team dearly at the tournament, where they fought some of the world’s best taekwondo practitioners.
“We were competing in a tournament of the highest order; a tournament which attracts the best taekwondo athletes. Judging by the opposition, I think the three athletes did fairly well. The main problem was our team clearly lacked the necessary international exposure that would have enabled them to withstand the stiff competition they were facing. However, despite the early exit from the tournament, I am satisfied with how they fared against some of the world’s top athletes.”
‘Mefane explained the reason why Lesotho athletes did not have the necessary exposure was lack of funds.
“You need a lot of money to take athletes to such international competitions as they are costly and most of the time, they happen in Europe. But as an association, we can’t afford to take them to these far-away tournaments because we simply don’t have the required funds. However, we are working hard to ensure we overcome such challenges in future,” ‘Mefane said.
‘Mefane, who is also the Lesotho Taekwondo Association (LTA) vice-president, said he was confident the team would do better at the 2015 All-Africa Games to be held in Congo-Brazzaville in September.
“We are still rebuilding for the All-Africa Games and with the performance I saw in Russia, I am certain that we will get one or two medals in Congo come September because we have the potential to do well,” said ‘Mefane.
“These athletes have just graduated from the junior ranks so we will be with them for a long time to come. By the time they reach their peak, I believe they would have been good enough to bring honours to their country.”
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