Stakes high in cross-country championship 

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Mikia Kalati

The Lesotho Amateur Athletics Association (LAAA) is set to host a National Cross-Country Championship in Ha Mabote on Saturday.

In addition to unearthing new talent, the competition would also be used to select a team for this month’s Southern African Region Cross-Country Championship in Malawi,  according to LAAA Public Relations Officer Sejanamane Maphathe.

“We are expecting athletes from across the country to come for Saturday’s race, because a lot would be at stake.

“Those who excel in the two competitions stand a chance of representing the country at the 2015 World Cross-Country Championship set for China in March,” Maphathe said.

The regional competition, he noted, was initially supposed to be held in Botswana, but had since been moved to Malawi.

Maphathe added: “We are looking forward to Saturday’s competition because it has always produced surprises in terms of new talent.

“This competition remains valuable to the LAAA as it gives young athletes a platform to showcase their talent.

“And because this is a competition for both male and female athletes, we expect a big turnout in Ha-Mabote.

“It is all-systems-go for Saturday and we are confident it is going to be a successful competition, stakes are very high in this event; there would be so much to fight for for the runners.”

Maphathe also noted 2015 would be a busy year for local athletics.

“This is going to be a hectic year as far as athletics is concerned because there would be the All-Africa Games, as well as World Championships, among other major international competitions, and we hope to send contestants to most, if not all of them. That is why we have to make sure we have a large pool of very good athletes,” he said.

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