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Commonwealth youth team returns empty-handed


Seabata Mahao

Lesotho’s national team faced disappointment at the recent Youth Commonwealth Games in Trinidad and Tobago, failing to secure a single medal in cycling and athletics events.

The Games, which took place from August 4 to 11, saw Lesotho represented in cycling and athletics. Khotsofalang Rakaota and Pontšo Makatile participated in cycling, while Naleli None, ‘Mapaseka Makhosane, Neo Ntelele, and Amohelang Lepola represented the country in athletics.

In the cycling events, Rakaota faced disqualification in the male category, with reasons for his disqualification yet to be disclosed. Meanwhile, Makatile finished last in the 18-member 55-kilometer female category, encountering difficulties on the challenging route.

Turning to athletics, none was unable to progress past the women’s 100-meter semi-finals, and her journey also ended in the preliminary stage of the 200-meter race. Lepola, who had qualified for the men’s 1500-meter final, faced dehydration issues that prevented his participation on the advice of his doctor.

Despite this setback, he later entered the 800-meter semi-finals but had to drop out due to fatigue.

Neo Ntelele faced challenges in the 400-meter race, unable to secure a place in the final after a fourth-place finish in the semi-finals.

Similarly, his 200-meter race saw him finish seventh out of eight runners, preventing him from advancing further. For ‘Mapaseka Makhosane, her performance in the women’s 3000-meter race was cut short due to a fall during the event.

Malefane Morie, the spokesperson for the Federation of Cycling Lesotho (FCL), acknowledged the disappointing performance and stated that they were awaiting an official report on Rakaota’s disqualification.

Morie recognised the need for more effort in athletes’ development and performance enhancement.

“We understand that as an association, there is a lot of work that should be done to help enhance our athletes’ performance, especially their pace,” Morie commented.

On the athletics front, Nkuebe Makhalemele, the spokesperson for the Federation of Athletics Lesotho (FAL), expressed disappointment in the overall performance of the athletes.

However, he viewed the experience as a valuable learning curve that will aid their growth in future competitions.

“We still believe our medal hope, Lepola, could have made us proud had it not been for dehydration. We will work hard to assist them to grow, and we hope they will do better in the future,” Makhalemele stated.

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