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Ramakongoana’s Olympic dream

Business

Seabata Mahao

Although Lesotho’s marathon runner Tebello Ramakongoana, recently won the Durban International Marathon, he failed to achieve the required time to qualify for the 2024 Olympics Games by seconds.

Ramakongoana defied the odds running in rainy and windy conditions to clock in at 2:10:11 to win the 42-kilometre race, but came short of reaching 2: 09:40, which is the Olympic qualifying time.

Despite missing out on qualifying for the Olympic Games, Ramakongoana said he still has a chance to qualify if he can participate in more marathons this year, given he only missed the Olympic target by about 31 seconds in Durban, South Africa. 

He said he is currently talking to his sponsors the Lesotho National Olympics Committee (LNOC) to organise something.

The athlete is a beneficiary of an Olympic Scholarship for Athletes – Paris 2024 through the LNOC.

“The Olympics Committee set their own targeted time as the qualifying time for an athlete to participate in the upcoming 2024 Olympics. So even though I won the race, this means I did not qualify although I was so close,” he said.

“But If I can participate in one or two international marathons, I believe I can beat the time and qualify for the Olympics,” he added.

He plans to return to South Africa to run in a half marathon to keep in shape. 

“In winter I am going to participate in the Nelson Mandela Bay Half Marathon which will help me prepare for the actual marathons before the end of the year.

“I am eyeing overseas marathons as they are easier to run in than the local marathons, and that can give me a better chance to qualify.”

He blamed the adverse weather elements for narrowly missing the Olympic target.

“During the race, when I reached the 35 kilometre mark, I was still on track time but then the rain stopped and the heavy wind started blowing from the direction where I was running to, so it became a challenge hence I failed to beat the record time.”

The LNOC has also expressed confidence in Ramakongoana’s credentials to eventually make it to the 2024 Olympics Games to be held in Paris from July 26 to August 11.

“We are very proud of his effort and remain confident that the national record and Olympic qualifying are well within the grasp of this young, talented athlete,” LNOC said in a statement this week.

The committee also acknowledged the contribution of different players in supporting Ramakongoana’s athletics career. These include his coach, James McKirdy from the United States of America (USA), and his running club.

“We also acknowledge the support of Xcel Running Club for their great support to Ramakongoana.”

Born and raised in Qacha’s Nek, Ramakongoana on Tuesday received a hero’s welcome back home upon arrival from South Africa.

A crowd of people gathered to cheer and chant in the streets of Qacha to welcome their running hero.

Among them was Qacha’s Nek District Council chairman, Mantsi Tseane, who said Ramakongoana has made the district proud.

“We thank you for putting Lesotho on the map, you made us proud as a country and as a district.”

He implored Ramakongoana to continue working hard to achieve more.

Ramakongoana has paid homage to his supporters, particularly fellow athlete Telang Ntherise and Qacha’s Nek former district administrator, Mosiuoa Nthakong, who helped him during his formative years.

He said Nthakong did everything in his power to ensure that his sporting needs are taken care of. He also thanked his mother who gave him emotional support.

“I was not aware that I could do this for a living. I was just doing this at school like other students until Telang Nterise told me to improve a little bit. He told me if I could be passionate about running, I would be a happy man.”

Ramakongoana’s talent in long-distance running became apparent at a tender age while in high school, where he was a regular winner in school competitions.

He met Ntherise, who would inspire him to develop an interest in running, while in

Seabata Mahao

Although Lesotho’s marathon runner Tebello Ramakongoana, recently won the Durban International Marathon, he failed to achieve the required time to qualify for the 2024 Olympics Games by seconds.

Ramakongoana defied the odds running in rainy and windy conditions to clock in at 2:10:11 to win the 42-kilometre race, but came short of reaching 2: 09:40, which is the Olympic qualifying time.

Despite missing out on qualifying for the Olympic Games, Ramakongoana said he still has a chance to qualify if he can participate in more marathons this year, given he only missed the Olympic target by about 31 seconds in Durban, South Africa. 

He said he is currently talking to his sponsors the Lesotho National Olympics Committee (LNOC) to organise something.

The athlete is a beneficiary of an Olympic Scholarship for Athletes – Paris 2024 through the LNOC.

“The Olympics Committee set their own targeted time as the qualifying time for an athlete to participate in the upcoming 2024 Olympics. So even though I won the race, this means I did not qualify although I was so close,” he said.

“But If I can participate in one or two international marathons, I believe I can beat the time and qualify for the Olympics,” he added.

He plans to return to South Africa to run in a half marathon to keep in shape. 

“In winter I am going to participate in the Nelson Mandela Bay Half Marathon which will help me prepare for the actual marathons before the end of the year.

“I am eyeing overseas marathons as they are easier to run in than the local marathons, and that can give me a better chance to qualify.”

He blamed the adverse weather elements for narrowly missing the Olympic target.

“During the race, when I reached the 35 kilometre mark, I was still on track time but then the rain stopped and the heavy wind started blowing from the direction where I was running to, so it became a challenge hence I failed to beat the record time.”

The LNOC has also expressed confidence in Ramakongoana’s credentials to eventually make it to the 2024 Olympics Games to be held in Paris from July 26 to August 11.

“We are very proud of his effort and remain confident that the national record and Olympic qualifying are well within the grasp of this young, talented athlete,” LNOC said in a statement this week.

The committee also acknowledged the contribution of different players in supporting Ramakongoana’s athletics career. These include his coach, James McKirdy from the United States of America (USA), and his running club.

“We also acknowledge the support of Xcel Running Club for their great support to Ramakongoana.”

Born and raised in Qacha’s Nek, Ramakongoana on Tuesday received a hero’s welcome back home upon arrival from South Africa.

A crowd of people gathered to cheer and chant in the streets of Qacha to welcome their running hero.

Among them was Qacha’s Nek District Council chairman, Mantsi Tseane, who said Ramakongoana has made the district proud.

“We thank you for putting Lesotho on the map, you made us proud as a country and as a district.”

He implored Ramakongoana to continue working hard to achieve more.

Ramakongoana has paid homage to his supporters, particularly fellow athlete Telang Ntherise and Qacha’s Nek former district administrator, Mosiuoa Nthakong, who helped him during his formative years.

He said Nthakong did everything in his power to ensure that his sporting needs are taken care of. He also thanked his mother who gave him emotional support.

“I was not aware that I could do this for a living. I was just doing this at school like other students until Telang Nterise told me to improve a little bit. He told me if I could be passionate about running, I would be a happy man.”

Ramakongoana’s talent in long-distance running became apparent at a tender age while in high school, where he was a regular winner in school competitions.

He met Ntherise, who would inspire him to develop an interest in running, while in high school.

high school.

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