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Veteran athletes win marathon

Moorosi Tsiane


MASERU — Veteran long distance runners Lebenya Nkoka and Mamoroalo Tjoka were the big winners at last Saturday’s Thaba Tseka Memorial Marathon race.

The race was sponsored by the Ministry of Gender, Youth, Sports and Recreation in memory of the late King Moshoeshoe II
and his wife Queen ’Mamohato Bereng Seeiso.

Nkoka and Tjoka each pocketed M3 400 after both came first in the male and female categories respectively.

Those in third and fourth position won M2 500 and M2 000, respectively.

Nkoka, the winner in the male competition clocked one hour 16 minutes while Tjoka won the female competition by one hour 30 minutes.

The 21.1-kilometre race for both male and female athletes over the age of 17 started from Marakabei to Mantšonyane and while the five-kilometre race was for athletes under the age of 17.

Maseru Athletics Academy Public Relations Officer Neo Ramarou said the marathon was held in memory of the late leader of Lesotho, King Moshoeshoe II and his wife Queen ’Mamohato Bereng Seeiso, His Majesty King Letsie III’s parents.

They both passed away in the district of Thaba Tseka.

“We saw Thaba-Tseka as a perfect place to hold the race as both the King and the Queen lost their lives in that district,” Ramarou said.

King Moshoeshoe II passed away after a car accident that occurred at Ha-Noha in Thaba-Tseka in 1996 while Queen ’Mamohato passed away in 2003 at Marakabei Mission due to heart failure.

“We are very happy because we feel that the race was a success”, he said.

Ramaro pleaded with local companies to give financial support to the sport as it can help athletics.

“People came in numbers to support the race and we were very happy to see the youth coming in big numbers to participate in the race,” said Ramarou.

He also praised Matekane Group of Companies (MGC), Nthane Brothers and the Ministry of Gender, Youth, Sports and Recreation who injected M60 000 to sponsor the race.

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