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Local Olympic athletes demand to use Setsoto

Top local sprinter Mosito Lehata

Feb. 16, 2021 2 min read

2 min read

LOCAL Olympic athletes demand the use of Setsoto stadium facilities in order to prepare for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics qualifiers during this time when all sporting activities have been suspended under the COVID-19 induced national lockdown.

Top sprinter Mosito Lehata told Metro that like other athletes, he is forced to train on his own at home under the watchful eye of his personal coach Sam Khalane in preparation for the global event.

He however, fails to understand why local athletes are not allowed to use the stadium as the number of Olympic athletes in need of the facilities is only 15.

“I think the government can allow the 15 athletes to train interchangeably, maybe three athletes per two hours a day, to ensure that we gain the needed competition fitness.  

“On several occasions we approached relevant authorities requesting to use the stadium track but we were unsuccessful. Our plea was recently taken up by the Athletes Commission under the auspices of the Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC) and we were informed this week that the request has been forwarded to both   the sports ministry and Cabinet,” he said.  

He wrote a list of all the names of the athletes and attached it to the request.

“We asked that even though gymnasiums and training centers are closed, the stadium be opened for us to use now,” he said.

Chairperson of the Athletes Commission Moholo Lekomola said they are currently awaiting a response from the sports ministry.

“We are working hard to ensure that the athletes are ready because the Olympic Games start in the next four months,” he said.

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The summer games which were postponed in 2020 will now be held behind closed doors from July 23 - August 8 in Tokyo, Japan due to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic.

None of Lesotho’s track and field athletes who attended a qualification competition in South Africa last year managed to make it through.

Lehata is preparing for another qualifying event which will be held soon.

Marathoner Khoarahlane Seutloali is the only Mosotho athlete who has so far qualified for the global show after finishing fifth in 2:11:04 at the 2020 Sanlam Cape Town Marathon, an International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Gold Level event.   



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