Young Lesotho road racing cyclist, Kabelo Makatile is upbeat about the upcoming Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games in which he is expected to compete, despite not having enough time and resources at his disposal for preparations.
The 2022 Commonwealth Games will be held in Birmingham, England from July 28 to August 8 2022.
Makatile, who will be making his debut appearance at the Commonwealth Games told Newsday Sport that he is very upbeat and proud to have an opportunity to represent the country.
â€œIt has always been my dream to compete in such big stages, I am so looking forward to it especially this being my first appearance on a big international stage as the Commonwealth Games,â€ Makatile said.
The 19-year-old said he is looking forward to the games, but he is not confident in his preparation which could hamper his performance. The cyclist missed out on competing at the African Road Cycling Championships held in Egypt in April due to financial challenges along with veteran cyclist, Teboho KhantÅ¡i.
â€œPreparations have not been easy especially when I am not attending competitions as much as I should leading up to the games so that I get to learn from my mistakes and improve my performance.
â€œWhen you are just training, you end up thinking that you are doing well because that is what your mind and body are telling you but you can only be sure when you are competing. At the moment, we training has been tough because of the unfavourable
weather conditions in winter. The days are shorter,â€ Makatile explained.
He was born into a family of elite cyclists with his  father Moeketsi Makatile and uncle Ramotang Makatile having represented the country on international stages.
He said his biggest goal heading to the Commonwealth Games, is to put in a great performance and make a great first international appearance.
â€I want to make a big debut appearance for my country especially because this is a very big platform and a chance to show the world what we have here in Lesotho. I donâ€™t want to drop from the peloton, which is the leading group. If I can just maintain my pace with them and finish with them,â€ he said.
Makatileâ€™s performance in a number of races has been so impressive it has scored him two invitations to the World Cycling Centre (WCC) camp in late 2021 and earlier this year. The scholarship awarded by the Union Cyclist International paved the way for him to compete in various competitions where he received world-class training.
He will be representing Lesotho in cycling alongside multiple cross-country cycling champion, Tumelo Makae.