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Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Team Lesotho all set for 2018 Commonwealth Games

Boxer Moroke Mokhotho is of Team Lesotho's biggest hopes...

Lesotho’s team for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games is made up of 20 athletes.

The team is headlined by sprinter Mosito Lehata and the country will compete in four sports – athletics, boxing, cycling and weightlifting. Team Lesotho comprises 13 male and seven female athletes.

Lesotho goes into the Commonwealth Games looking for its first medal since 2006 when Moses Kopo claimed a boxing silver medal at the Melbourne edition of the championships.

In total, Lesotho three medals in its history at the Commonwealth Games.

In 2002 in Manchester, Letuka Sephula won bronze in boxing while the country’s greatest sporting moment remains Thabiso Moqhali’s gold medal in the marathon at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur.

The 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia will be a special occasion for this group of Lesotho athletes because the country’s delegation will be headed by His Majesty King Letsie III. King Letsie III will also be accompanied by the minister of sports, Mahali Phamotse.

Although Lesotho’s preparations have been far from ideal with a lack of funding hampering the preparations of the teams, hopes are high given the experience in the squad. Apart from two-time Olympian Lehata, the athletics team has two-time Olympic marathon runner Tšepo Mathibelle.

There is also Neheng Khatala, who finished third at the South African Half-Marathon in Port Elizabeth and Free State OR Tambo Marathon last year, and is regarded as one of Lesotho’s rising athletics stars.

Boxing, meanwhile, has Moroke Mokhotho, who competed at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and is a two-time bronze medallist from the 2011 and 2015 All Africa Games.

The 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games get underway tomorrow at the Carrara Stadium in Queensland, Australia. The opening ceremony is from 11:55 to 15:00. The Games will end on April 15.

Team Lesotho:
Women: Lerato Sechele (triple jump), Tšepang Sello (800 metres), Mokulubete Makatise (1500 and 5000 metres), Lineo Chaka (5000 and 10000 metres) and ‘Neheng Khatala (marathon)
Men: Mosito Lehata (100 and 200 metres), Badboy Toka, Ramolefi Motsieloa (5000 and 10000 metres) and Tšepo Mathibelle (marathon)

Women: ‘Mantoa Ranone (57kg)
Men: Thabo Molefe (52kg), Moroke Mokhotho (56kg), Qhobosheane Mohlerepe (60kg), Mokhachane Moshoeshoe (69kg), Kokole Paneng (75kg)

Women: Likeleli Makatise (MTB)
Men: Phetetso Monese, Tumelo Makae (both MTB), Malefetsane Lesofe (Road)

Men: Bafokeng Moeti (69kg)

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