Athletes qualify for Olympic Games

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MASERU — Three local athletes booked their tickets for the London Olympic Games after posting impressive results during a track competition at Setsoto Stadium last Saturday.

The trio, out of about a hundred athletes, were the only ones who were well within the qualifying times set by the Lesotho Athletics Amateur Association (LAAA).

The London Olympic Games will take place between July and August this year.

But the athletes — Lisebo Sepenere and Mosito Lehata (100 metres) and long distance runner Ramolefi Motsieloa (10 000 metres) will have yet another chance to hone their skills when they represent the country at the African Senior Competitions in Benin in June.

LAAA spokesperson, Sejanamane Maphathe, told the Lesotho Times on Monday the three were the only athletes who had made it for selection.

“The track competition on Saturday was used as our local preparations for the Olympic Games,” Maphathe said.

“We have our own local qualifying standards and out of the hundreds that competed, only the three athletes managed to qualify.”

He added that Saturday’s competition was a success given that it was the first local competition this year.

“Managing to have three athletes qualifying for the selection of the Olympic Games in our first local competition this year was a success,” he said.

Lisebo’s personal best time on Saturday was 11 seconds, 49 minutes in the 100 metres.

The qualifying time had been set at 11:90.

Lehata clocked 10:11 in the 100 metres race ahead of a qualifying time of 10:40, while Ramolefi’s time in the 10 000 metres was 29:56, four seconds better than the qualifying time.

Maphathe said following their selection on Saturday the trio will now go on to represent the country in Benin.

“These athletes will represent the country in Benin in June in the African Senior Competitions as part of their preparations for the Olympic Games,” he said.

He said the closing date for athletes to qualify for the Olympic Games is April and June for track and long distance runners, respectively.

This means that more athletes might impress and qualify for the games before the closing dates.

“There will be both international and local competitions that we will use to ensure that our local athletes prepare and qualify for these games (London),” he said.

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