Lesotho Olympian joins Kovsies

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Tshepang Sello, Lesotho's foremost middle distance athlete and Olympian, will be joining the ranks of KovsieSport Athletics Club in 2017. She represented Lesotho in the 800m at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games last year. PHOTO: RUFUS BOTHA

The Lesotho international middle-distance athlete who represented her country in the 800m at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games in 2016, Tshepang Sello, has enrolled at the Kovsies where she will be furthering her studies in 2017.

Training in Bloemfontein will, however, be nothing new for Sello, as her coach, Derek van Rensburg, has already worked with her in the City of Roses prior to the Rio Olympics. Van Rensburg was also appointed as Lesotho’s national middle-distance coach for the mentioned Olympics and Sello will still train under his guidance in future.

Van Rensburg scored the distinction of producing two athletes who bumped heads in Rio. Sello and Van Rensburg’s son, Rynhardt, both took on the best in the world in the respective women’s and men’s 800m races.

The 19-year-old Sello took part in the heats but could not progress to the semi-finals. She stopped the clock at a time of 2:10,22 (South Africa’s Caster Semenya won this final in a world class 1:55,28).

However, Rynhardt had a great Olympic debut and worked his way up to the semi-finals where he finished in a respectable 13th position overall in a time of 1:45.33.

Sello represented Lesotho in 2014 at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing (China) and although she was way short off the podium position times, her time of 9:59:47 showed some promise for the future.

In comparison to Sello’s above-mentioned international performances, her best performance came in 2015 when she wore the Lesotho senior colours, still being a junior at the African Senior Games in Brazzaville (Congo) in the 1500m. She recorded a not too shabby 4:34,89, which once more underlined a bright future for the young Lesotho resident.

Add the world record holder and Olympic Games champion in the 400m, Wayde van Niekerk, to Sello and Van Rensburg and the Kovsies will climb into the 2017 athletic season with a vengeance with no less than three Rio de Janeiro Olympians (track athletes) in their squad. – RUFUS BOTHA