Lesothoâ€™s swimming sensation, Refiloe Chopho, won three medals at the recent CANA Zone IV Swimming Championships held in Angola.
His medals haul includes two gold medals for the 100- meter breaststroke race and 200-meter freestyle race. He also won a bronze medal for the 50-meter breaststroke race.
He competed in the 30 years and above category, in the games that took place in Angola from May 3 – 7.
Chopho told Newsday Sports he is delighted with his performance in Angola, although much work lies ahead.
â€œThis tournament was a real success to me as I returned home with great results which I am very proud of,â€ he said.
â€œThere is still an upcoming tournament of the FINA World Championships which is going to be held in Japan from July 14 to 24, 2023. I believe I will be in good shape to perform and bring back good results,â€ Chopho added.
The tournament was a regional competition by Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries including; Angola as the host, Lesotho, Malawi, Uganda, Mozambique, Eswatini, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Mauritius, Seychelles, Tanzania and Zambia.
Chopo indicated that regardless of their efforts and passion, it is not easy to represent the country because there is an inadequate support from authorities.
He advised aspiring swimmers to exercise and have a consistence preparation as results will not come immediately.
â€œThere are swimming coaches in Lesotho like me. I have multiple children I am currently coaching. If these children can learn this sport from the ages of 12 or below, and get the support they need, they will be the champions this country needs.
â€œI urge parents to let their children explore swimming as a preferred sport, but for successful results, relevant authorities need to play their part in providing aid with all the funding and support needed.â€
â€œChildren should get the right training from the qualified swimming coaches so that we can have many athletes representing Lesotho in World Championships,â€ he said, pointing out that they need a training advantage of using a pool bigger than their 25meters training pool.
â€œThis makes a big difference because we swim in the 50meters pool during the competitions and this shows a need for all swimming facilities as to be familiar with them,â€ He said.
Chopho has also represented Lesotho in the FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary in 2022.
He was also part of the team of lifeguards in Qatar World Cup 2022.