Mokhesi falls in Senegal
LESOTHO boxer Tlholhelo Mokhesi (52kg) will not give up on his dream to fight at the Olympics Games one day.
This is after he failed to secure a ticket to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics following his 5-0 loss to Mick Mikamou Mayelet of Gabon at the ongoing African Boxing Qualifiers in Dakar, Senegal on Thursday.
“I will not give up, the Olympics are the biggest games in the world and it is every boxer’s dream to compete at that level,” Mokhesi told the Sunday Express.
Mokhesi believes he didn’t lose the match because he is a poor fighter but due to poor preparations.
“I started the fight well but lack of preparation showed and my opponent capitalized.
“We had poor preparations and I did the best under the circumstances. The names of the players who will form the team were confirmed late and I only had about a week to train,” he said.
Mokhesi’s previous fight was in August 2019 during the Africa Games in Morocco.
“We last fought in Morocco and never camped since then. Other countries’ boxers have been preparing since last year and had several camps. However, we only came straight from our respective homes to the games,” he added.
Due to lack of good preparations, Mokhesi said he had lost weight and was forced to adjust it by drinking lots of water.
Meanwhile, Lesotho’s Qhobosheane Mohlerepe (63kg) on Friday afternoon proceeded to the second preliminary round after beating Jorgito CA of Guinea Bissau. He is expected to fight again today against NDjinga Clinton Farlo of Gabon.
Other boxers at the qualifiers are Moroke Mokhotho, Arena Pakela and Mokhachane Moshoeshoe.
The 21-year-old Mokhesi is the youngest in the team that is representing Lesotho at the games.
This was his first fight in the Olympic Qualifier Championships but says since he is young, he would not give up on his dreams.
Those who fail to qualify at the ongoing games have to qualify at the world finals qualifying tournament in Paris in May. However, this will depend on the on their country’s ability to sponsor them.
Mokhotho is the only athlete who stands a chance to make it to Paris as he is under the Olympic Solidarity grant.
For his part, team coach Thabiso Nketu believes the country has good boxers but blamed the poor preparations for their ill fortunes.
“We have the potential to win medals with our boxers but in many instances, we prepare dismally,” Nketu said.
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