Maseru, March 13 — The Federation of Athletics Lesotho (FAL) had expected Tebello Ramakongoana to qualify for next year’s Olympic Games in Athletics South Africa Durban International marathon where he set the new course record of 2:10.11 on Sunday morning.
When approached for comment FAL President, Mr. Ts’eliso Pheta told the Agency that they appreciate and commend Ramakongoana for his recent performance where he won the ASA Durban International marathon but
said they were looking beyond just winning the race and setting the course record.
‘’We as the Athletics Federation and himself had expected him to run faster than the 2:10.11 but to qualify for the next Olympic Games whose qualifying time is below 2:10 and he failed to meet this qualifying time by seconds,’’ he lamented.
However, FAL President vowed that Ramakongoana will qualify for next year’s Olympic Games, saying he could even run 2:05 if he runs in coastal area with low altitude.
He said the fact that he finished the Durban International marathon two minutes faster than the person who finished in second contributed to him not running the fastest time they were expecting as he was competing against himself for the better part of the race.
“Had he been competing against another person, he should have run faster than what he did,’’ he highlighted.
The 2:10.11 he clocked at the ASA Durban International marathon, Ramakongoana set the new course record and is his personal best time but the second-best national record, behind Motlokoa Nkhabutlane whose national record stands at 2:09.47.
Ramakongoana made his marathon debut at the Cape Town marathon in 2021 finishing third position which enabled him to qualify for the Commonwealth Games.
He could not be reached on his mobile phone when contacted to get his views on the performance and goals he has set for himself going forward.