LESOTHO yesterday beat Botswana 3-2 to win gold in girls’ volleyball at the ongoing Region 5 games in Maseru.
This was Lesotho’s eighth gold medal in the games.
It was a sweet turn-around victory for the Lesotho girls who got off to a jittery start. They appeared intimidated and gave away seemingly easy points to lose the first set 23-25.
However, they rallied back and led the second set from the very first whistle. They never looked back and eventually clinched it by 25 points to 19.
Botswana regained the initiative, taking the third set 25-20. But Pekosela Nthako’s charges did not despair. They won the next two sets on their way to be crowned champions.
The last set was a cagey affair as both teams were determined not to lose. The hosts however, carried the day with a hard-fought 15-13 victory.
Rethabile Phamotse shone throughout the tournament for the hosts. Unsurprisingly, she was the fans’ favourite for carrying her teammates on her shoulders from the first match to the final.
An ecstatic Nthako hailed his gallant charges.
“I am very proud of this team, I think they outdid themselves,” Nthako said in the post-match interview.
“They did most of the work. Ours as coaches was merely to give guidance but the victory was really down to their efforts.
“The girls certainly showed character because no one expected this kind of performance from them. We had very tough preparations in the build up to the competition. They punched above their weight,” Nthako said.
He said the team should be kept intact as he foresaw a bright future ahead.
“It’s a group of brave young girls and I hope we keep them together for the longest time. We need to be consistent when it comes to development of young talent. Perhaps getting into camp once a month might help,” Nthako said.