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Sechele off to Pretoria

Moorosi Tsiane

TRIPLE jump national record holder, Lerato Sechele, is scheduled to participate in the Athletics South Africa competition in Pretoria, scheduled for 15 to 17 March as part of her preparations for the Commonwealth Games to be held in Gold Coast, Australia next month.

The 23-year old Sechele, is part of the 20-member team that represents the country in this year’s quadrennial games.

Lesotho will be represented in athletics, cycling, boxing and weightlifting.

Sechele, who has attended different competitions to ensure she is in shape for the Australia fete, said her preparations have progressed well and said she hopes for a positive performance in her second appearance in the Commonwealth Games.

“I was actually supposed to leave this week but the competition has been moved to next week so I will be leaving on Thursday,” Sechele said.

“I have been in different competitions throughout the world with the last competition being in Paris last month where I was also impressed with my performance as I managed to jump over 13 meters,” said Sechele.

She said her target this year would be to surpass 13 meters as she has already managed to set a new national record.

“Right now I am the country’s indoor and outdoor record holder and once again managed to jump over 13 meters which was my target this year so that shows there are some positives in my performance.”

With only three weeks before the multi-discipline event, Sechele said she feels ready.

“All the competitions that I have participated in have helped me prepare and I think I am now ready for the Commonwealth Games where I hope to do my level best,” Sechele said.

“I now have a new coach, Selloane Tšoaeli, but my focus is on the improvement of my performance. I was a bit worried at first when I changed coaches but now I am focused on the task.

“For now I am hard at training twice in a day at Lehakoe and Setsoto Stadium.”

Sechele is also under the four year Olympic Solidarity Scholarship that she was granted last year by the Lesotho National Olympics Committee and which affords her chance to train at Lehakoe.

The Olympic Scholarship for Athletes is a programme by Olympic Solidarity that offers National Olympic Committees (NOCs) the possibility to obtain financial and technical assistance for a limited number of elite athletes who are training and attempting to qualify for Olympic Games. The Scholarship objective is mainly to assist selected and proposed elite athletes by their NOCs in their preparation and qualification for the XXXII Olympiad, Tokyo 2020.

This is the second time for her to benefit from this facility as she was one of four athletes that were given the same opportunity from 2004 to 2016.

Sechele spent two years in a high performance training center in Senegal from 2014 to 2016 but she unfortunately failed to qualify for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

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