FORMER Lesotho Athletics Association (LAAA) spokesperson, Sejanamane Maphathe reckons athletics standards have dropped in the country after several of the country’s top athletes had below par performance competing in South Africa in recent weeks.
April 24, 2022
2 min read
Veteran athletics administrator bemoans declining standards
Former LAAA spokesperson, Sejanamane Maphathe
- Maphathe commends marathoners’ performance
- Administrator says athletes need to work on their fitness and tactical awareness
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Maphathe commended the performance of Motlokoa Nkhabutlane and ’Mathakane Letsie, who finished in positions five and 10 respectively in the male and female categories at the TotalSport Two Oceans marathon.
Meanwhile, in the track and field events of the Grand Prix Continental Tour Challenger, 800m runner, Manqabang Tsibela managed third position in the first meeting and an eighth spot in the second meeting.
“I saw our athletes at the recent ASA Grand Prix for track and field. I feel like there is nothing much we can write home about in terms of physical fitness and tactical awareness, considering that they are not novices,” Maphathe stated.
“They should have long being waiting for this competition, which comes at this time of the athletic season. The athletes were not in good shape and looked like they are coming from Christmas holidays.”
The veteran administrator said the performance was much better in the long-distance competitions, where several Lesotho’s top marathoners finished among the top 10 finishers in most categories.
“I think those that ran on Sunday in both the half-marathon and main race did well though they did not get to make the podium,” the former LAAA publicist said.
“In this category of long distance, most of our athletes managed to make it to top 10 though they were comparatively less in number as opposed to the previous years.
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“There is a lot of potential and I think Tebello Ramangoana is a good prospect and I have no doubt that if he is guided well, he will make us proud not only locally and, in the region, but internationally as well,” he said.
Nkhabutlane, who is the country’s marathon record holder, is among elite local long-distance runners that have enjoyed a lot of success in South Africa over the years.
Among others, the legendary runner also won the Two Oceans Marathon in 2015.
’Mamoroalo Tjoka, who has in recent years been marred by doping scandals, is another Lesotho athlete who has enjoyed a lot of success in South Africa, having won the Soweto Marathon a record seven consecutive times, to earn herself the nickname of “Queen of Soweto”.
Lesotho’s other long-distance runners to have tasted success at the Soweto Marathon include Lebenya Nkoka, Mabuthile Lebopo, Teboho Sello and Tsotang Maine.