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Top cyclist sets new record

  • bolsters team’s preps for world champs

Moorosi Tsiane

PUMP Track star Mosito Mohapi continued his dominance in Sky League setting a new national record of 19:07 to win yesterday’s edition of the monthly league in Roma.

Mohapi’s previous record was 19:19 set in March this year.

Khothalang Leuta won in the female category recording 22:03.

It was a case of splitting hairs between the first and second runners-up Molefi Ntoko (19:08) and Kopano Matobo (19:09) in the male category.

In female category Lieketseng Ralefifi (23:03) came second while Nyalleng Monaheng (30:00) came third.

Yesterday’s race was the last lap of preparations for six local riders who will be heading to the Redbull World Championships qualifiers set for Pretoria on Saturday.

Matobo, Ntoko, Meke Mapanya and Mohapi will be competing for a spot for world championships penned in for October in Switzerland.

They will be looking to join the already qualified Mohapi, who booked his spot in the March qualifiers at the Roma Trading Post.

In the female category Lesotho will only be represented by Leuta as Makhotso Paamo had to pull out due to family commitments.

Mohapi said he was happy with his performance saying he welcomes the Pretoria challenge and is hoping to get good results.

“I think I am ready; I have set a new record today (yesterday) which shows that the hard work is paying off, so I am happy,” Mohapi said.

“It means a lot for me to get this opportunity and there is nothing that will make me happier than doing well in Pretoria.

“I am not nervous at all especially about the opponents. My only worry for now is the track which is different from what we are used to but then we are going to have a full day to practice and we will see where that will leave us.”

On her part, Leuta said she was also ready and looking forward to the competition.

“I am ready. I know it is not going to be easy especially because it is our first time at such a big stage but we will fight.

“I am just short to making the time that I want (21:00) but I will keep on working hard with the help of the likes of Mosito to ensure that I reach it before we leave on Thursday,” Leuta said.

The team’s head of delegation Tumelo Makhetha said was impressed with the performances and said he also believes the five riders have what it takes to pull surprises in Pretoria.

“They are improving and I believe they are capable of qualifying. I think the challenge is that there is really a thin line between winning and losing because you can lose by just a split second. So, the riders need to be focused and at least pass the first phase and get into the knock out stage.

“However, we don’t want to put them under pressure because this is their first time at such a big stage and it is vital that they get exposure,” Makhetha said.

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