Quote of the week

“To be a great champion you must believe you are the best. If you're not, pretend you are.” – Muhammad Ali

Friday, July 29, 2016

Hlompho Kalake staying at Bantu

Hlompho Kalake won't be joining Matlama
Lesotho international midfielder Hlompho Kalake is set to stay at Bantu after the Mafeteng club rejected an offer from Matlama for his services.

The 21 year-old has been targeted by Matlama since the end of last season.

Kalake, a product of Matlama’s youth system, has developed into a star since joining Bantu in 2013 and Tse Putsoa were hoping to lure him back to Pitso Ground.

According to reports, Matlama identified Kalake as a player that could bolster their squad as they look to go one step better in their title chase this season.

The nine-time league champions have not win the title since 2010 and finished second to Lioli last season.

Another reason Matlama were said to be tracking Kalake was because Tse Putsoa were uncertain of the future of captain Phafa Tšosane who was reported to be a target of LMPS. Matlama eyed Kalake as a like-for-like replacement for Tšosane.

However, it appears Kalake will remain in Mafeteng which is good news for A Matšo Matebele supporters.

There is also good news for volleyball supporters.

The annual Volleyball Winter Tournament has been tentatively set for August 20 and 21. The tournament is usually held in July but has been on hold because of financial constraints.

The Volleyball Winter Tournament, which usually attracts teams from Botswana and South Africa, is likely to be held at Lehakoe Club. The preliminary registration fee is R400 for local teams and R600 for international sides. 

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Matlama to face Botswana’s Township Rollers, Sundawana sign Ghana duo

Matlama's opponents, Township Rollers
Matlama will play Botswana’s Township Rollers in a pre-season friendly match on August 6 at Setsoto Stadium.

The match will be a meeting of Lesotho and Botswana’s most successful clubs.

Rollers have won the Botswana Premier League a record 12 times, five more than the next best team, Botswana Defence Force XI. Matlama, for their part, have been Lesotho champions on nine occasions.

Staying with the Vodacom Premier League and Sundawana have made their intentions for the 2016/17 season clear by completing the signings of Ghanaian pair Norman Kumatse and Ernest Antwi.

The Butha-Buthe side surprised many by claiming fourth place in the league last season and they appear determined to build on that success.

Sundawana have already tied highly-rated striker Roboama Koloti to a new contract in an attempt to ward off interest from Lioli and Bantu amongst others.

Tse Bo Yellow have now bolstered their squad with the additions of striker Kumatse and midfielder Antwi. Kumatse (22) and Antwi (20) have both signed four-year contracts with the Butha-Buthe club.

Sundawana have also appointed Sidwell Mothea as coach to take over from last season miracle-worker, Bob Mafoso. Mafoso left last month to take up a role as assistant coach of Bantu.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Alliance Winter Challenge to take centre stage this weekend

Matlama will be out to defend their Alliance Winter Challenge crown
The second annual Alliance Winter Challenge will take centre stage this weekend at Setsoto Stadium. The two-day preseason showpiece will feature four of Lesotho’s top clubs. The tournament’s semi-finals will be played on Saturday with the final on Sunday.

The high profile off-season competition is sponsored by Alliance Insurance and was inaugurated last year.

It is contested by the three clubs under Alliance’s sponsorship banner which are Matlama, Lioli and LCS. The fourth contender is an invited team.

Last season the special guest was Liphakoe. This year it is Butha-Buthe based Sundawana who have enjoyed a meteoric rise over the past year.

Sundawana will be looking continue that rise when they meet defending champions Matlama in Saturday’s first semi-final at 12:00. Lioli against LCS will then follow at 14:00.

On Sunday, the third-place playoff will played at 13:00 as an appetiser for the final at 15:00.

There is no prize money on offer but the 2016 Alliance Winter Challenge winners will go home with a trophy and gold medals. The two-day gate takings will also be shared equally by the four teams. The entrance fee is M20 for both days.

There is also incentive for the players in the form of awards for the top goalscorer and goalkeeper of the tournament. The man of the match in the final will also receive a trophy. All three awards carry M2 000 prize money.

2016 Alliance Winter Challenge:
Matlama v Sundawana (12:00)
Lioli v LCS (14:00)
Third-place playoff (13:00)
Final (15:00)

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Basketball Winter Tournament set to heat up winter

The Winter Tournament is just in time... 
The Lesotho Basketball Association’s (LBA) annual Winter Tournament is set to raise the temperature this coming weekend.

The always hotly-contested event will take place at the Lehakoe Club on Saturday and Sunday.
The competition is revamped this year with Vodacom Lesotho sponsoring the event to the tune of M10 000 worth of airtime which can be converted into money via M-PESA.

So far, four ladies teams and six men’s teams have registered for the Winter Tournament.

The men’s teams are Leseli, Bashana Baheso, Bokamoso South, Buffalos, Lichocha Shooting Rifles and 2015/16 national champions, KTA All Stars. The ladies teams are BBH, KTA, Bokamoso South and local basketball queens, Lichocha Shooting Rifles. The LBA will reveal the final list of contenders by Thursday.

To football, and the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) is currently holding a CAF A License course for 25 local and two foreign coaches at the Bambatha Tšita Sports Complex.

The foreign coaches are Morena Ramoreboli who heads South Africa Premier League side Bloemfontein Celtics’ youth development. Ramoreboli famously masterminded the 4-1 drubbing of South African giants Orlando Pirates by third division outfit Maluti FET College’s in the 2013 Nedbank Cup.

The other foreign coach is Englishman Mark Harrison who coaches Botswana top-flight giants Township Rollers and previously worked in South Africa.

Former Lesotho captain and current Bloemfontein Celtic assistant coach Lehlohonolo Seema is also going through his paces at the course.

The CAF A License is the highest qualification offered by the governing body of African football. The hosting of the course is also part of the LeFA’s endeavours to move from amateur football to a semi-professional status.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Koloti signs new Sundawana contract, Lesotho struggles in Botswana

Roboama Koloti has renewed his Sundawana contract
Sundawana striker Roboama Koloti has signed a new contract with the Butha-Buthe club. Koloti’s new deal is reported to be for a further three years and makes him the highest paid player at the club.

The highly-rated Lesotho Under-20 international had been strongly linked with a move away from Sundawana so his contract renewal comes as a surprise. Lioli have already made a formal approach for the striker. Bantu and LMPS were also said to have enquired about the striker.

Sundawana, however, had insisted that Koloti would not leave Butha-Buthe for anything less than M2 million.

Koloti struck 13 goals last season and finished as the second leading scorer in the Vodacom Premier League. His form helped the club claim an unexpected top four place. With Koloti signed to a new deal, Sundawana are said to be turning their attentions to defender Motlomelo Mkhwanazi.

The Lesotho international is also a wanted man after an impressive 2015/16 season and Matlama, Bantu and Lioli are rumoured to be interested in securing his services. Koloti’s contract renewal, however, has given Sundawana hope they can hold on to the core of their impressive squad for the new campaign.

Koloti was part of the Lesotho Under-20 side that saw their Africa 2017 Under-20 Cup of Nations hopes dashed on Saturday with a 3-0 loss to South Africa. Despite a determined effort in the second leg in Bloemfontein, the Makoanyane XI were eventually overrun to lose 5-0 on aggregate.

With the win, South Africa qualified for next February’s continental finals in Zambia.

2017 Africa U-20 Cup of Nations qualified teams are:
Zambia (hosts)
South Africa

Lesotho (in white) v Botswana at the Africa World Youth Cup
qualifiers in Gaborone  
To netball and things are not going well for Lesotho at the Africa World Youth Cup qualifiers in Botswana. Lesotho suffered a 89-5 loss to South Africa on Monday afternoon in its latest game. Lesotho lost 81-11 to Malawi and 66-9 to Botswana on the opening day on Sunday.

The tournament is being held to decide which African teams will play at next year’s Netball World Youth Cup in Botswana.

The top three teams from the qualifiers in Gaborone, apart from Botswana who have qualified as hosts, will advance to the world finals next August.

Lesotho has to win its remaining five games to stand any chance of qualifying. The tournament ends on Saturday.

#Gaborone2016AfricaQualifiers results:
Day 1 - Sunday
Lesotho 11-81 Malawi
South Africa 49-39 Zambia
Botswana 66-9 Lesotho
Malawi 48-30 Namibia

Lesotho’s remaining fixtures:
Tuesday - v Zimbabwe
Wednesday - v Zambia, v Uganda
Thursday - v Namibia
Saturday - v Swaziland

Friday, July 22, 2016

Lesotho’s Olympic team announced

Mosito Lehata (left) will lead Team Lesotho at Rio 2016
The Lesotho team for the 2016 Rio Olympic has been announced. This year Team Lesotho will consist of eight athletes, four more than the number that competed in 2012 at the London Olympics.

The increase in qualified athletes is positive news for Lesotho and there is hope this year’s squad is better prepared than four years ago.

The team for Rio 2016 is led by sprinter Mosito Lehata who will compete in the 100 and 200 metres. Lehata is in form having won silver in the 100 metres at last month’s Africa Senior Championships where he set a new personal best time of 10.04 seconds.

He is also the most experienced member of the team having competed at the London 2012 Games and finished fourth in the 200 metres at the 2004 Commonwealth Games.

Lehata will be joined by track athletes Nomakoe Nkhasi and Tšepang Sello, marathon runners Tšepo Mathibelle and Lebenya Nkoka, boxers Inkululeko Suntele and Moroke Mokhotho, and cyclist Phetetso Monese.

The majority of the team is out of the country finalising preparations for Rio.

Lehata is fine-tuning his preps in France, boxing duo Suntele and Mokhotho are in Cuba, Mathibelle is in Kenya, Monese is competing Switzerland and Austria, 5000 metres runner Nkhasi is in South Africa and 800 metres specialist Sello is in Germany.

Lesotho will also be sending an official to the Olympics. Lesotho Taekwondo Association president Moshoeshoe Molapo has also been selected as a match referee for the Rio taekwondo tournament.

The Games begin on August 5 and finish on August 21.

Lesotho’s delegation for Rio 2016 Olympics:
Mosito Lehata - 200 metres, 100 metres
Nkhasi Namakoe - 5000 metres
Tšepo Mathibelle - Marathon
Lebenya Nkoka - Marathon
Tšepang Sello - 800 metres
Kenneth Hlasa
Stephen Buckland (Mosito Lehata’s coach)
Derick van Rensburg (Tšepang Sello’s coach)

Moroke Mokhotho
Inkululeko Suntele
Sibusiso Keketsi
Moeketsi Liphalo

Phetetso Monese
Mark West

Team Lesotho head of delegation: Letsatsi Ntsibolane
General manager: Lekomola Moholo
Team doctor: Dr ‘Mamello Sekese
LNOC CEO: Morake Raleaka
LNOC president: ‘Matlohang Moiloa-Ramoqopo
Referee (Taekwondo): Moshoeshoe Molapo

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Vodacom Premier League announces 2016-17 fixtures

It's here... The league action will start on August 27
The Vodacom Premier League has released the fixtures for the first round of the 2016/17 season. The schedule was released on Thursday and it confirms that the season will begin on August 27.

The campaign will kick off on Saturday, August 27 with champions Lioli opening their title defence against LMPS at Setsoto Stadium, Tse Nala’s home for the 2016/17 season. On the same afternoon, newly-promoted Sky Battalion will play their first ever top-flight match when they visit Linare at Maputsoe DiFA Stadium while Kick4Life will host Likhopo.

Sunday, 28 August will see 2013 champions Bantu begin their season when they welcome Rovers to Mafeteng while Matlama will have an away match at new boys Butha-Buthe Warriors.

The following weekend (September 3) Lesotho is slated to play Algeria in a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Algiers.

Even so, a full weekend of action has been scheduled by the league and September 3 is set to see a pair of big games with Matlama pencilled in to face Bantu and six-time champions LCS pitted against eight-time winners LDF.

The first league meeting of the season between Lioli and Matlama, meanwhile, will take place on November 5 at Setsoto. Before then, Lioli will host Bantu on October 16 in a meeting of two teams that have shared the last four championships.

Other notable dates are Lioli against Linare on September 18, Matlama versus Linare on October 8 and Linare’s trip to Bantu on October 29.

The fixture has also revealed that the Independence Cup will be played on the weekend of October 1 and 2. This year’s tournament will feature Lioli, Matlama, LCS and Sundawana, the top four sides from last season.

This season the 14-team league has been boosted by an increase in sponsorship money from Vodacom Lesotho. The telecommunications giant has increased its league sponsorship from M1 million last season to M1.136 million for the 2016/17 campaign.

2016/17 First Round Fixtures:


Week 1
Saturday, 27 August
Lioli v LMPS (15:00, Setsoto Stadium)
Kick4Life v Likhopo (15:00, Maseru)
Linare v Sky Battalion (15:00, Maputsoe DiFA Stadium)
Sunday, 28 August
LDF v Sundawana (15:00, Ratjomose)
Bantu v Rovers (15:00, Mafeteng)
Liphakoe v LCS (15:00, Quthing)
Butha-Buthe Warriors v Matlama (15:00, Butha-Buthe)


2017 AFCON Qualifier (September 2, 3, 4) – Algeria v Lesotho

Week 2
Saturday, 3 September
Sundawana v Linare (15:00, Maputsoe DiFA Stadium)
Matlama v Bantu (15:00, Pitso Ground)
LCS v LDF (15:00, LCS)
LMPS v Rovers (15:00, PTC)
Sunday, 4 September
Sky Battalion v Kick4Life (15:00, TBC)
Butha-Buthe Warriors v Likhopo (15:00, Butha-Buthe)
Lioli v Liphakoe (15:00, Setsoto Stadium)

Week 3
Saturday, 10 September
Likhopo v Bantu (15:00, LCS)
LDF v Lioli (15:00, Ratjomose)
Kick4Life v Butha-Buthe Warriors (15:00, Maseru)
Sunday, 11 September
Sky Battalion v Sundawana (15:00, TBC)
Linare v LCS (15:00, Maputsoe DiFA Stadium)
Matlama v LMPS (15:00, Pitso Ground)
Rovers v Liphakoe (15:00, Roma)

Week 4
Saturday, 17 September
Liphakoe v Matlama (15:00, Quthing)
Rovers v LDF (15:00, Roma)
LCS v Sky Battalion (15:00, LCS)
LMPS v Likhopo (15:00, PTC)
Sunday, 18 September
Bantu v Butha-Buthe Warriors (15:00, Mafeteng)
Sundawana v Kick4Life (15:00, Maputsoe DiFA Stadium)
Lioli v Linare (15:00, Setsoto Stadium)

Week 5
Saturday, 24 September
Butha-Buthe Warriors v LMPS (15:00, Butha-Buthe)
Kick4Life v Bantu (15:00, Maseru)
Sundawana v LCS (15:00, Maputsoe DiFA Stadium)
Sunday, 25 September
Matlama v LDF (15:00, Pitso Ground)
Likhopo v Liphakoe (15:00, LCS)
Sky Battalion v Lioli (15:00, TBC)
Linare v Rovers (15:00, Maputsoe DiFA Stadium)


October 1, 2 – Independence Cup

Week 6
Saturday, 8 October
Lioli v Sundawana (15:00, Setsoto Stadium)
LDF v Likhopo (15:00, Ratjomose)
Matlama v Linare (15:00, Maseru)
Sunday, 9 October
Rovers v Sky Battalion (15:00, Roma)
LCS v Kick4Life (15:00, LCS)
Bantu v LMPS (15:00, Mafeteng)
Liphakoe v Butha-Buthe Warriors (15:00, Quthing)

Week 7
Saturday, 15 October
LMPS v LCS (15:00, PTC)
Likhopo v Matlama (15:00, LCS)
Sky Battalion v LDF (15:00, TBC)
Sunday, 16 October
Sundawana v Liphakoe (15:00, Maputsoe DiFA Stadium)
Kick4Life v Linare (15:00, Maseru)
Lioli v Bantu (15:00, Setsoto Stadium)
Butha-Buthe Warriors v Rovers (15:00, Butha-Buthe)

Week 8
Saturday, 22 October
Kick4Life v Lioli (15:00, Maseru)
Liphakoe v LMPS (15:00, Quthing)
LCS v Rovers (15:00, LCS)
Sunday, 23 October
LDF v Bantu (15:00, Ratjomose)
Matlama v Sundawana (15:00, Pitso Ground)
Linare v Butha-Buthe Warriors (15:00, Maputsoe DiFA Stadium)
Likhopo v Sky Battalion (15:00, LCS)

Week 9
Saturday, 29 October
Bantu v Linare (15:00, Mafeteng)
Sundawana v Likhopo (15:00, Maputsoe DiFA Stadium)
Butha-Buthe Warriors v Sky Battalion (15:00, Butha-Buthe)
Sunday, 30 October
Rovers v Lioli (15:00, Roma)
LMPS v LDF (15:00, PTC)
LCS v Matlama (15:00, LCS)
Liphakoe v Kick4Life (15:00, Quthing)


Week 10
Saturday, 5 November
Rovers v Kick4Life (15:00, Roma)
LDF v Liphakoe (15:00, Ratjomose)
Lioli v Matlama (Setsoto Stadium)
Sunday, 6 November
Linare v LMPS (15:00, Maputsoe DiFA Stadium)
Likhopo v LCS (15:00, LCS)
Sky Battalion v Bantu (15:00, TBC)
Butha-Buthe Warriors v Sundawana (15:00, Butha-Buthe)

November 12, 13 – Catch-up days

Week 11
Saturday, 19 November
LCS v Butha-Buthe Warriors (15:00, LCS)
Bantu v Sundawana (15:00, Mafeteng)
Liphakoe v Linare (15:00, Quthing)
Sunday, 20 November
Kick4Liufe v LDF (15:00, Maseru)
Matlama v Rovers (15:00, Pitso Ground)
LMPS v Sky Battalion (15:00, PTC)
Lioli v Likhopo (15:00, Setsoto Stadium)

Week 12
Saturday, 26 November
Matlama v Kick4Life (15:00, Pitso Ground)
Linare v LDF (15:00, Maputsoe DiFA Stadium)
Likhopo v Rovers (15:00, LCS)
Butha-Buthe Warriors v Lioli (15:00, Butha-Buthe)
Sunday, 27 November
Sky Battalion v Liphakoe (15:00, TBC)
Sundawana v LMPS (15:00, Maputsoe DiFA Stadium)
Bantu v LCS (15:00, Mafeteng)


Week 13
Saturday, 3 December
Liphakoe v Bantu (15:00, Quthing)
Rovers v Sundawana (15:00, Roma)
LDF v Butha-Buthe Warriors (15:00, Ratjomose)
Kick4Life v LMPS (15:00, Maseru)
LCS v Lioli (15:00, LCS)
Likhopo v Linare (15:00, LCS)
Sky Battalion v Matlama (15:00, TBC)

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Koloti expected to be fit for Amajita showdown

Lesotho’s national Under-20 coaching staff says Roboama Koloti will be fit for Saturday’s decisive 2017 Africa Under-20 Cup of Nations qualifier against South Africa.

Koloti did not feature in the Makoanyane XI’s 0-0 practice game draw with Sundawana yesterday.

Roboama Koloti (left) is expected to be for Lesotho's vital U-20
qualifier against South Africa on Saturday
Koloti, who plays for Sundawana, also missed the first leg of Lesotho’s tie against South Africa’s Amajita two Sundays ago. The striker’s absence that day was felt as the visitors grabbed a commanding 2-0 first leg advantage and his non-appearance in yesterday’s friendly raised eyebrows.

However, the Makoanyane XI staff says Koloti missing yesterday’s game was just a precaution.

The squad left for South Africa today and Koloti travelled with the team with the expectation he will play in Saturday’s second leg. The clash will take place at the Dr Molemela Stadium in Bloemfontein and will kick off at 3pm. If the Makoanyane XI can overturn the two-goal deficit they will qualify for the continental finals set for Zambia next February and March.

To netball and the national Under-21 team leaves this evening for Botswana to take part in the Africa Youth World Cup qualifiers starting on Saturday. Lesotho begins its campaign on Sunday against one of the pre-tournament favourites, Malawi.

The team will then play seven matches until next week Saturday to see if they can book a place at next year’s Netball World Youth Cup.

Lesotho is one of eight countries hoping to join Botswana at next year’s global showdown. The others are Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe and only three will qualify.

Botswana has already qualified as hosts of the World Youth Cup in August 2017.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Women’s national rugby team coming soon

More developments coming to Lesotho rugby...
A women’s national rugby team is in the pipeline, according to the Federation of Lesotho Rugby (FLR).

Although Lesotho is yet to have a women’s league, the FLR currently has five women’s rugby teams – NUL Spears, Maseru Warriors, Mabote Beavers, LCS and LDF.

The teams take part in mini-tournaments throughout the year and the FLR is hoping to launch a national side by the end of 2016.

The move is part of the federation’s efforts to continue the development of ladies rugby in the country. The FLR was formed in 2012 and has made big strides in developing the men’s game however women’s rugby has been left behind.

The FLR has also confirmed that a Maseru Select women’s team will take part in the Eastern Free State Ace Magashule Rugby Cup tournament to be held next month in the Free State, South Africa.

To boxing and national coach Sibusiso Keketsi says he is happy with the month-long Cuba training camp for the Olympic-bound pair of Moroke Mokhotho and Inkululeko Suntele. The two boxing hopefuls arrived in Cuba two weeks ago.

They are undergoing final preparations at the Cuban High Performance Training Centre in Havana ahead of next month’s Olympic Games. Keketsi said the camp will sharpen Mokhotho and Suntele.

“This camp is very important for our boxers because they will be using world-class facilities. Training with top boxers will help them gain the much-needed experience and international exposure,” Keketsi said.

The Olympic boxing tournaments are scheduled to take place from August 6 to 21.

Finally to football and the Lesotho Under-20 side is finalising preparations for Saturday’s 2017 Africa U-20 Cup of Nations qualifier second leg against South Africa. The Makoanyane XI will face Vodacom Premier League side Sundawana this afternoon in their final tune-up match.

Lesotho is trailing South Africa 2-0 from the first leg played last Sunday at Setsoto Stadium. 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Lesotho up four spots in FIFA Rankings

Lesotho has moved up FIFA's rankings
Lesotho has moved up four spots on the FIFA rankings after a positive COSAFA Castle Cup in Namibia last month where Likuena reached the quarterfinals. Lesotho is up to 151st in the world in the latest FIFA rankings, 46th in Africa.

Likuena won three games at the tournament beating Mauritius, Angola and Malawi in the group stage before losing to South Africa in the quarterfinals.

So far Lesotho has only one match remaining in 2016, the side’s final 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Algeria on September 2 in Algiers.

To transfer news and Vodacom Premier League side LCS have reportedly made an offer for Likuena and Bantu midfielder Sepiriti Malefane. Malefane has been at the Mafeteng giants for the last two seasons but he has been training with Masheshena since the start of pre-season two weeks ago.

Malefane would fill many needs for LCS. He can play anywhere in defence and can also operate in midfield. He is also a young talent, a stated requirement by LCS as the club seeks to re-build a squad that can challenge for the league title.

Another Bantu player that may be prized away from Mafeteng is midfielder Hlompho Kalake who remains strongly linked with a move to Matlama. Tse Putsoa want to add the Lesotho international to bolster their squad and as a back-up plan in case Phafa Tšosane moves to LMPS.

Staying with Bantu, the club hosted a successful gala dinner on Saturday evening at Avani Maseru Hotel. The event was graced by Muvhango actor Sindi Dlathu who stars as Thandaza, Dingaan Mokebe (who is James Motsamai) and Palo Mokoailane who plays Pheko Mokoena.

Lesedi FM radio presenter Nyakallo Leine, who is popularly known as Ba2cada, also attended the glitzy show.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Vodacom Premier League to begin on August 28

Lioli begin their title defence on August 28
The 2016/17 Vodacom Premier League season will kick off on August 28, the league has confirmed. Although the full fixtures list is yet to be released, the start date for the new campaign is now known.
The 14-team league will also be boosted by a bump in sponsorship money from sponsors Vodacom Lesotho when it begins. 

The telecommunications giant has increased its league sponsorship from M1 million last season to M1.136 million for the 2016/17 campaign. The new premiership season will see Lioli out to win a third successive title while Sky Battalion and Butha-Buthe Warriors will replace the relegated duo of Mphatlalatsane and Likila United.

To rugby and the MCC Rugby Sevens tournament will continue at the end of the month as it winds down to its finale. The eight-team league is led by Warriors who are unbeaten in their seven games. Warriors are followed by Mabote Beavers A, NUL Spears and The Royals respectively in the standings. The MCC Rugby Sevens competition, which was introduced last year, is played in rugby’s shorter seven-a-side format.

Staying with rugby and the Federation of Lesotho Rugby has also announced that the second phase of the Lesotho Rugby League season will start in August and end in October. The FLR has also revealed a slight change that will now see the Lesotho Rugby League play hand-in-hand with high school games.

From now on, venues will host games from both competitions on the same day in effort to boost local rugby.

High school games will be played from 9am until 1pm before Lesotho Rugby League matches kick off from 1pm to 5pm in the afternoon.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Lesotho's Monese qualifies for Olympic Games

Rio bound... Phetetso Monese
Mountain bike rider Phetetso Monese has qualified for next month’s Rio Olympics taking Lesotho’s tally at the Games to eight.

Monese’s place at Rio 2016 was confirmed last week by the International Cycling Union (UCI) and he becomes the first ever cyclist from Lesotho to qualify for the world’s biggest sports event.

Monese joins track athletes Mosito Lehata, Nomakoe Nkhasi and Tšepang Sello, marathoners Tšepo Mathibelle and Lebenya Nkoka, and boxers Inkululeko Suntele and Moroke Mokhotho on the plane to Brazil.

The 31 year-old rides for the ACE-The Sufferfest Lesotho MTB Team and is the highest ranked black African rider on the UCI rankings with a rating of 111th in the world.

Monese clinched his place in Rio largely thanks to his third place finish at the 2016 African Continental MTB Championships which were held in April in Lesotho. The championships carried Olympic qualifying points which gave Monese an outside chance of qualifying for Rio.

He was also helped in his cause by Lesotho’s strong ranking in the mountain bike discipline. Lesotho is rated second in Africa and 33rd in the world by the UCI.

The Rio Games will be Monese’s second appearance at a global sporting event. He placed 21st at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland in 2014.

To taekwondo and the duo of Moloisane Marumo and Ramosoeu Nkuebe are in South Korea for a month-long competition and training stint.

Marumo and Nkuebe together with national coach Du-Khwi Lee will be based in South Korea until the end of July. The trip is part of the Lesotho Taekwondo Association’s on-going efforts to revitalise the sport and to start prepping for future tournaments. As things stand, Lesotho will have no taekwondo athletes at this year’s Rio Olympics.

The LTA will also hold a general tournament for children and juniors at Sefika High School on Saturday, July 23.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Lesotho squad convenes for Netball World Youth Cup Qualifiers

Lesotho preparing for Netball World Youth Cup Qualifiers
A preliminary 20 player squad has convened as Lesotho prepares for the Netball World Youth Cup Qualifiers which will be held in Botswana later this month.

The qualifying tournament, which is for Africa’s ladies teams, will take place from July 23 to July 30. It will be contested by Under-21 teams from nine countries.

They nations are Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe and hosts Botswana. Botswana will not be qualifying because it will host the Netball World Youth Cup which will be held in August 2017.

The three best African teams will seal a place from the Botswana qualifiers.

In total, each of the five participating continents will have three contestants each at next year’s World Cup. Botswana will complete the 16-team field.

Lesotho’s squad reported for duty last Saturday and it will begin full training tomorrow. Lesotho will begin its World Youth Cup Qualifiers against Malawi on July 24 in Gaborone.

Moving to football and the national Under-20 side has been boosted by the return to fitness of star striker Roboama Koloti. The Sundawana forward missed the Makoanyane XI’s 2-0 loss to South Africa on Sunday in the first leg of the sides’ 2017 Africa U-20 Cup of Nations qualifier.

Koloti has resumed training and he is expected to be fit for next weekend’s second leg in South Africa.

The winner will qualify for next year’s African U-20 finals which have been scheduled for February 26 to March 12 in Zambia.