Lesotho tipped to shine at showcase

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allafricagamesMikia Kalati

Team Lesotho is expected to shine at the 2015 All-Africa Games scheduled for 4-19 September in Brazzaville, Congo.

According to the team’s head-of-delegation, Moipone Mashale, the athletes have been doing well in tournaments of late hence her optimism they would not disappoint in Congo.

The country is going to compete in taekwondo, boxing, tennis and athletics, and Mashale insists the team is not going to let the nation down at this special edition of the multisport event held every four years.  The upcoming tournament marks the 50th anniversary of the Games, as well as their return to Brazzaville, which hosted the first edition in 1965.

“Our different teams have already started preparations for the Games and although we have met with funding challenges, we are making sure the athletes participate in different regional competitions on a regular basis,” Mashale said.

“I can safely say we have picked a team with the potential to excel; a group of athletes that is  going to Congo to compete instead of just representing the country.”

Mashale, who is also president of the Lesotho Netball Association, however, noted the athletes are yet to go into full camp and have only been training during weekends and coming from their homes.

“Most of the athletes were identified for elite training programmes and have also competed in different high-profile sporting events; their track record has been quite good at these events. That’s why we believe they will not disappoint the nation at the Games,” added Mashale.

According to Mashale, expectations were the athletes would get together regularly so that their diet could be monitored, as well as to ensure they worked with specialists such as physiotherapists.

“This will happen once we get our funding for the Games.

“We have since facilitated that the athletes work with a fitness specialist, while a  physiotherapist will also be brought in next week.”

Mashale is happy the athletes are doing well in the run-up to the Games, which she said was good for their morale and confidence.

“Our taekwondo team recently scooped 15 medals in Rustenburg, South Africa; the tennis team was recently in Botswana and also did well, and we will soon be sending a boxing team to Botswana for training. These are good preparations for the Games, and we hope they are not going to be in vain.”

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