THE Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC) has launched its Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games roadmap.
The roadmap was launched on 28 January 2019 at Lehakoe Recreational and Cultural Centre in Maseru.
Team Lesotho chef de mission Letsatsi Ntsibolane told guests at the launch that they wanted to ensure that all the athletes get the support they require right from the qualifying campaigns.
“We want to engage all the stakeholders and to keep Basotho updated on all the developments during the journey to the games,” Ntsibolane said.
“Previously, the nation only knows about the team very late and we want to change that.”
He said, so far, only one athlete, marathoner Khoarahlane Seutloali, has qualified for the games.
“This is an achievement because this is the first time for one of our athletes to qualify this early.”
According to the roadmap, the LNOC’s high performance office will be tasked with optimising the country’s potential at the games.
The responsibility of ensuring that local athletes qualify for the games has been bestowed on the national federations. The federations are expected to familiarise with the qualifying criteria while athletes who are under the Olympic Solidarity programme will be assisted to attend competitions.
After qualification, the national federations are expected to budget for their athletes’ preparations for the training camp and competitions.
To boost athletes’ qualification chances, the LNOC, through the Olympic Solidarity World Programmes granted four-year scholarships to six athletes. The scholarship started in 2017.
The six athletes under the scholarship are; Mosito Lehata, Lerato Sechele, Tšepang Sello (all from athletics), Moroke Mokhotho (Boxing), Tumelo Makae (cycling) and Marumo Moloisane (Taekwondo).
But Ntsibolane said every qualifying athlete will be included in the national team even though they may be part of other LNOC programmes.
“Any qualifying athlete will definitely participate in the Olympic Games irrespective of whether or not they are under our high performance programmes,” Ntsibolane said