THE Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC) was not impressed by comments that taekwondo international, Michelle Tau recently made on social media platforms regarding her inability to attend some international tournaments she was eyeing.
March 14, 2023
3 min read
LNOC not impressed with Tau conduct
Top Lesotho female taekwondo star, Michelle Tau
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Tau who is currently based in Brussels, Belgium recently wrote on her Facebook page that she missed two international competitions, one in Canada and another in the United States due to a lack of funds.
The country’s top female taekwondo star further wrote that she was most likely to miss two more tournaments, in the Netherlands and Belgium.
“I already missed two competitions, in Canada and the USA, and sadly I will also miss the Dutch (Netherlands) and Belgium competitions. I’m heartbroken,” reads Tau’s comments.
Tau, 25, is one of Lesotho’s athletes currently on an Olympic Solidarity Sponsorship through the help of LNOC.
The sponsorship is meant to help local athletes to qualify for the Olympic Games scheduled for Paris, France next year.
Tau is arguably the highest-paid athlete on the Olympic Solidary Sponsorship.
She reportedly earns more than M20 000 per month.
Asked to comment on the issue, LNOC Public Relations Officer, Fetang Selialia, said his organisation could not fund all of Tau’s trips as there were other athletes who also needed support in their quest to qualify for the same Olympic Games.
“I understand she has submitted her plan, but unfortunately LNOC cannot afford to fund all of her trips,” said Selialia in an interview with Public Eye on Monday this week.
“There are other athletes who also need support in their quest to qualify for the same Olympic Games.”
Selialia further said: “We wished she had approached us about this before she went to social media. Maybe we could have helped her secure the funding she requires, who knows.”
He, however, promised that the LNOC would continue supporting Tau.
“We will continue supporting her because our plan is to see her representing Lesotho at the 2024 Olympic Games.”
LNOC financially supported Tau’s trips to two international tournaments held in Egypt, the President’s Cup and Egypt Open last month.
She won gold and silver at the Egypt Open and President’s Cup respectively.
“We support Tau and other athletes who are on the Olympic Solidarity Sponsorship. We want to support her achieve her goals.”
But Selialia was quick to note that they expect their athletes to conduct themselves professionally and to follow Olympics values, which include excellence, respect, and friendships.
Despite the fracas that ensued, Tau, however, never spoke ill of the LNOC in the comments she made on social media.
“In all her comments, she does not blame the LNOC for anything. That is why we could not make any statement regarding her social media comments until now when you want our side of the story,” said Selialia.
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“But we wish her success in her campaign and we will not have any problem if she finds people to sponsor her.”
Tau needs points to qualify for the Paris Olympic Games, hence, her current frustration regarding the qualification.
However, she indicated in her social media comments that according to the new world rankings released this month, she is ranked number seven in the world and position one in Africa in her weight division.
“That officially makes me number one in Africa in the female, 46kg division. This is thanks to my performance in Egypt,” reads part of Tau’s comments.
She represented Lesotho at last year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.
She won silver at the 2019 All-Africa Games in Rabat, Morocco.
She also represented the country at the European Club Championships in 2020.
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