Team Lesotho departs for continental showpiece

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Moipone Mashale

Moipone Mashale

Mikia Kalati

Lesotho’s 43-member team left the country last night for the 11th edition of the All-Africa Games scheduled for 4-19 September in Congo-Brazzaville.

Head of delegation, Moipone Mashale, was in confident mood as she told the Lesotho Times that the team would “definitely do the country proud” because of its thorough preparations.

“I left home a few days earlier to prepare for their arrival. I needed to make sure that things such as accommodation, accreditation as well as training facilities are in place before the team comes,” Mashale said from Brazzaville on Tuesday.

“Like I said before, I have confidence in our team because we selected athletes who have done well in various competition and will be coming here to compete and not to add to the  numbers.”

Holding a send-off ceremony juts before the team’s departure could also inspire the athletes, Mashale noted. During the ceremony held at Victoria Hotel on Saturday, the athletes were addressed by the Minister of Gender, Youth, Sports and Recreation, Mathebeli Mokhothu who urged them to represent Lesotho with pride at the quadrennial, multisport event.

“Of course, it’s always a motivating factor to have an important figure such as a minister addressing athletes ahead of a big sporting event,” Mashale said.

“The other positive thing was that the athletes went through intensive training during their later stage of preparations, which means they are ready for the competition.

“I believe this was a massive boost for them and helped to improve their shape ahead of this very crucial tournament.

“We did the best we could to make sure the athletes are ready for the Games, hence my confidence that they will fly the country’s flag high in Congo.”

Meanwhile, Lesotho would be competing in taekwondo, boxing, tennis, athletics and sports for the visually impaired.

Lesotho won three bronze medals—two in athletics and one boxing—at the 2011 edition of the Games held in Maputo, Mozambique.

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