Lehata takes aim at a berth in Rio

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Mikia Kalati

SPRINTER, Mosito Lehata, says he is determined to make up for the injury-induced poor performances of last year by doing the nation proud in August during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The 26-year old failed to replicate the form of 2014, when he made it to the final of the 200-metre race during the 2014 Commonwealth Games held in Glasgow, Scotland.

In 2015, Lehata finished eighth in the final of the 100-metre race in September at the All-Africa Games held in Brazzaville Congo. Two weeks earlier, Lehata also failed to reach the semis of the 200-metre race at the World Athletics Championship in Beijing, China.

Lehata told the Lesotho Times this week that he was fit and raring to go in 2016 after being plagued by a spate of injuries.

“I really want to do well. I feel like I owe it to Basotho after the disappointments of the World Athletics Championship and All-Africa Games,” Lehata said.

“Physically, I am fine since I have been hard at work for the last two months to get in shape.”

So focused is the Mauritius-based sprinter to preparing for the Olympics that he did not return home for the festive season.

“It’s been all work and no play for me since the one-month break I took after the All-Africa Games. I did not even come home for the Christmas holidays because of a commitment to get back to my best,” said Lehata.

“When I am at my best, I can easily make it to the finals, and I just need to make sure that I stay healthy and free from injuries.”

Contacted for comment, Lesotho Amateur Athletics Association (LAAA) Public Relations Officer, Sejanamane Maphathe, said they were also blameworthy for Lehata’s frustrating year.

“I think we should also shoulder the blame for his injuries and fatigue,” Maphathe said.

“Mosito participated in too many competitions, and in the end it cost him medals at the All-Africa Games.”

“What we are doing this year is to prioritise the events Mosito will participate in to ensure that he would be fresh for the Olympics.”

He added: “We will not overload him this year because a lot will be expected from him at the Olympics. He needs to rest like the other top athletes before a major tournament.”

Maphathe also revealed that marathon runners Tšepo Ramonene and Libya Nkoka have also booked their places at the global sporting extravaganza in the South American nation

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