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Table tennis tourney roars into life

Moorosi Tsiane

THE Region 5 Table Tennis Championship roars into life tomorrow at Lehakoe Recreational Centre with athletes from 10 Southern African countries vying for the one spot in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Dubbed the Africa Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 Table Tennis Championship, the four-day tournament is expected to end on Thursday.

According to Lesotho Table Tennis Association (LeTTA) spokesperson Thato Mathibeli, everything is in place for the championship. On Friday, LeTTA welcomed Region 5 technical director Kudzanani Motswagole, who travelled to ensure that all logistics were in place before the commencement of the games.

Lesotho will be hosting South Africa, Botswana, eSwatini, Angola, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique and Namibia.

Mathibeli told the Sunday Express that they are also holding an umpires’ course for eight officials ending today.

“The games will finally happen on Monday (tomorrow) and the teams are expected to arrive in the country by Sunday (today) which is the same day when we will hold the opening ceremony,” Mathibeli said.

“Despite all the challenges that we encountered during the preparations, we are happy that everything is ready now and the games will finally take place as expected.”

Mathibeli said the four teams representing in the tournament were in good shape as they have been hard at work at Setsoto Stadium preparing for the tournament.

“Competing in international competitions is never easy but I think the teams are ready because they have been hard preparing for the tournament.

“From what I have seen, the performance has really improved but you never know what can happen during the tournament. Nevertheless, I am certain that we can also win medals and make it into the last 16 and hopefully qualify for next year’s Olympics in Tokyo,” she said.

She added that they are also banking on the doubles and the mixed categories to make it into the podium.

“Singles is the toughest category and we are expecting a tough competition there, but I believe in doubles and mixed teams we can do better,” said Mathibeli.

Mathibeli, Nthabeleng Mokeki, Matšeliso Chere, Tumisang Mpesi and Reaboka Bofelo will be competing in the female category while the males’ team is made up of Khethang Mothibi, Likhetho Mothibi, Hareteke Mapeshoane, Themba Talane and Tšeliso Chere.

Ntebaleng Ratšoane, ‘Mathapelo Thuntša, Tšele Masitha,Tšehiso Ramofokeng, Mosuoe Sehloho and Paseka Mokete make up the disabled team.


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