Injury rules out Lehata from continental champs

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Mikia Kalati

LESOTHO’S star sprinter, Mosito Lehata, has been ruled out of the upcoming African Senior Championship to be held in Nigeria next month.

The championships will be held from 1 to 5 August in Asaba in the Delta-State of Nigeria.

Lately, Lehata has struggled with a calf muscle injury that he sustained at the Gold Coast Commonwealth games in April this year.

The 27-year-old won a silver medal at the last edition of the continental championships that were held in South African in 2016.

In 2016, he finished in the second position behind Ivory Coast’s Ben Youssef Meite while South African, Akani Simbine, came third.

Lehata and Nomakoe Nkhasi were the only Lesotho athletes that managed to win medals at the 2016 games that were held in Durban in South Africa.

Lehata told the Lesotho Times that he was gutted to miss the Nigeria trip. He however, said he would concentrate on his recovery and plan for future events.

“As disappointed as I am, there are things that we cannot control in life and are beyond our human capacity to perceive and comprehend,” Lehata said.

Lesotho Amateur Athletics public relations officer, Sejanamane Maphathe, had earlier this week said he was confident that the athlete would be ready for the continental competition. However, the calf injury has since ruled him out.

He said the Lesotho team is now likely to head to Nigeria with just two athletes who have met the qualifying standards.

The two are Tšepang Sello and Lineo Sechele while there is uncertainty over Bad-boy Toka, who is yet to meet the qualifying standards.

“It is a huge blow for us because Lehata has been ruled out of the competition and we have to go there with just two athletes,” Maphathe said.

“He has been struggling with the injury since the Commonwealth Games and his doctors have told us that he is not ready to compete. He is still going through the rehabilitation and the competition in Nigeria has come too early for him.”

Maphathe said their hopes are now pinned on the Sello and Sechele to fly to country’s flag high in Nigeria.

“Of course, it is a big setback for us as a country but there is nothing we can do and we should focus on the two athletes who are ready for the competitions.

“They have done well in recent years and Sechele was Lesotho’s best performer at the Commonwealth Games this year and only narrowly missed a medal when he came forth in triple jump.”

The young Sello on the other hand has won a series of races in South Africa to secure qualification for the African Senior Championships.

The duo was recently in Europe as part of their preparations for Nigeria.

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