Veteran runner pessimistic ahead of Soweto race

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Mikia Kalati

Veteran athlete, Thabiso Moqhali, says he does not foresee Lesotho runners winning Sunday’s Soweto Marathon.

Moqhali (48) won a marathon gold medal at the 1998 Commonwealth Games held in Malaysia and would be among a host of Lesotho athletes compete in the South African race this weekend.

The Lesotho group includes Moeketsi Mosuhli, who won the race in 2008, as well as Lebenya Nkoka, who romped home in 2010.

However, Moqhali is downplaying local runners’ chances in the marathon, whose winner takes home M100 000, telling the Lesotho Times: “It will be very difficult to produce a winner this time around.

“The only inform athlete is Motlokoa Nkhabutlane, but as for the rest of our runners, I think their preparations have not been that good.”

According to Moqhali, lack of resources and good coaching remain the biggest challenges facing local athletes.

“I will be competing in the veterans category, but I think I could do better if I had more time to train,” said Moqhali.

“But that is very difficult because I’m employed and have no time to focus on athletics.

“The same goes for the other runners and as a result, don’t get good coaching, which I feel is the major problem in our country.

“I have tried to coach a few athletes I feel have the potential to do well, but unfortunately, due to work commitments, it is very difficult to be fully committed to them.”

Moqhali also feels the group of local runners who have dominated South African races over the years are ageing and that there is a need to introduce young blood.

“We are at a stage when we have to groom young runners, but the problem is lack of fulltime coaches.

“I have been working and coaching a few young runners such as Moleboheng Mafata, who I feel will be at their best in two years’ time. But like I said, I have not been able to concentrate on the coaching because of other commitments.”

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