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Team Lesotho shines

Pascalinah Kabi

LUSAKA — Lesotho picked up a record 15 medals at the Supreme Council of Sports in Africa (SCSA) Zone VI Games that are scheduled to end in Lusaka, Zambia, today.
The Sports and Recreation Commission (LSRC) yesterday pledged to organise a hero’s welcome for Team Lesotho following its exploits in Zambia.
The 15 medals set a new record for Lesotho that has for years been seen as the “sick” man of the region.
Lesotho picked four gold medals through boxers Suntelo Inkululeko, Qhobosheane Mohlepere, triple jump athlete Lerato Sechele and athletics for disability sprinter Retselisitsoe Tsoeu.
By winning the gold, Sechele has also set a new African triple jump record of 12.66 metres. The previous record was 12.48m.
Marathon runner in the making, Keneuoe Foloko, collected two silver medals in the 5 000 and 1 500-metre races.
The third silver medal was collected by the tennis team.
The first two bronze medals came through tennis player, Lebelo Mosehle, in the men’s singles and men’s doubles by Mosehle and Bishop Mosebi.
Tennis players Pulane Monyatsi and Mpho Kotzie settled for a bronze medal in the women’s doubles.
The remaining three medals came through boxers Thabo Molibeli, Teboho Ramokoena and Litheo Tseisa.
“We’ve already set aside plus or minus M60 000 for a welcome and awards ceremony for the team after it performed so well, setting a record no Team Lesotho has ever reached before,” Moipone Mashale, Team Lesotho chef de mission, said yesterday.
“The date for the ceremony is not yet set as we are now heading for the Christmas holidays but these kids deserve a heroic welcome for working so hard for the country,” she said.
Mashale said she believes a strong team spirit among the players won the country the medals.
“The kids travelled by bus for three days without sleeping at all but they didn’t let that discourage them but instead they fought for their country like soldiers who had been on war before,” she said.
“They stood up for their country and at the end of the day our hard work has finally paid off. We’ve set a new record.”
Mashale is however hopeful that Sports Minister Thesele ’Maseribane will keep his word and fight for each team to be kept together.
“The minister himself has given us his word that this team will be kept together for at least one-to-two years to see if the country can benefit from their talent,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Under-17 national soccer team failed to grab a bronze medal yesterday when they lost 0-2 Angola in the third place play-off.

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