|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.