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Tennis starlet for African tourney


Manyama Maisa

Moorosi Tsiane

TENNIS starlet Manyama Maisa has qualified for the Africa Junior Championships tourney to be staged later this year at a venue that is yet to be decided.

Maisa qualified after producing outstanding performances at the just-ended 12-nation Southern African Junior Championships in Namibia from 9 to 18 January.

Lesotho was represented by a team of nine players in the Under 14 and Under 16 male and female categories.

Thaane Mokose, Teboho Morake, Refiloe Pheko (all under 14) as well as Lerato Mathibela, Mpaleng Sempe, Lehlohonolo Motsamai (under 16) made up the male contingent while the female team comprised of Kekeletso Moseme, Kamohelo Khabele and Maisa (all under 14).

Team Lesotho coach, Mojalefa Mothibe commended Maisa for her exploits, saying she had significantly upped her game since last December’s Africa Union Sports Council (AUSC) games in Luanda, Angola.

“Her performance was just out of this world and she will achieve bigger things if she stays grounded,” Mothibe said, adding, “Playing in Angola helped her a lot because she has certainly improved”.

He said it remained to ensure she participated in preparatory matches to maintain her match fitness ahead of the Junior Championships.

“Our players are often affected by lack of tournaments. Their confidence often takes a knock and this becomes a huge challenge when they play in big tournaments.

“So we need to we send her to different competitions before the main tournament,” he added.

Mothibe also praised all his charges for coming away with the bronze medal in the team event.

He said the team had acquitted itself well given that some players were participating in a tournament of this magnitude for the first time.

“There are some who could go far if we continue to play in competitive tournaments but all in all the nine players played well,” he said.

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