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Unqualified athletes set to leave for world championships

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Pascalinah Kabi

MASERU — Two local athletes are set to compete at the World Champions in South Korea at end of this month despite failing to make the grade qualify for the games.
Moleboheng Mafata, a marathon runner and Mosito Lehata, specialising in short distance races, have failed to reach the qualifying standards for the August 27 to September 4 event since September last year.
The duo is set to leave the country next week on Monday.
But the Lesotho Athletics Amateur Association (LAAA) decided to give them an olive branch despite that they did not make the qualifying time.
The qualifying time for 42.2 kilometres race was set on 2:43:00, a time Mafata clocked months before the qualifying period was opened in September. But since then the runner has failed to reach that standard.
Lehata on the other hand is six mini-seconds away from the qualifying standard set on 20:70 for the 200 metres race.
LAAA spokesperson Sejanamane Maphathe told the Sunday Express that both athletes stood a chance even though they failed to meet the standard.
“They did not qualify for the games either on A or B standard but we chose them because they were our best options,” Maphathe said on Friday.
“After Lesotho failed to qualify for the champions, we were given an opportunity to send our representation and we chose Moleboheng Mafata and Mosito Lehata,” he said.
“We worked on options depending on each athlete’s personal best and Moleboheng and Mosito were the best candidates to represent the country in South Korea.”

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