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Nightmare for Lesotho athletes

Moorosi Tsiane

Team Lesotho had the worst possible start to the ongoing Commonwealth Games after Ntholeng Lechesa (squash) and Setho Ntšeke (swimming) were knocked out on the first day of the global showcase currently underway in Glasgow, Scotland.

The tournament began on Thursday with high expectations that Lesotho’s 27-member squad would have amassed several medals by the time the competition ends on 3 August.
However, Lechesa and Ntšeke found the standards too high at the tournament, while boxer Kokole Paneng was also booted out of the Games on Friday.

According to Lesotho’s head of delegation, Letsatsi Ntsibolane, lack of international exposure was proving to be the athletes’ greatest undoing, as well as inadequate and inappropriate training facilities.
“We are still at the starting point as far as swimming in our country is concerned, and I think Ntšeke did not do that badly considering the state of the sport back home.
“We don’t have the required facilities and international exposure as he was competing against high-profile swimmers, and he had no chance of matching them, let alone beat them,” Ntsibolane said.
“It was the same for Lechesa in squash. Lack of exposure and proper courts also proved to be his downfall here.”

However, Ntsibolane said there was still hope for Lesotho in the Games as the country’s greatest medal-hopefuls, such as sprinter Mosito Lehata, were yet to compete.
“Right now, I cannot say much regarding our overall performance. It is true we did not have a good start, but our main athletes are yet to compete, so it is only after their performance that I can say more,” Ntsibolane said.

Meanwhile, boxers Mohlerepe Qhobosheane, Moshoeshoe Mokhachane, Dyamdeki Lungile and Sundele Inkulule were expected to take to the ring last night.
The marathons, on the other hand, will begin today, with Tšepo Ramonene, Ramolefi Motsieloa, Thabo Ntlaloe, Moleboheng Mafata and Makampong Masaile expected to fly the country’s flag high at the Games.

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