March 9, 2023


2 min read

Khatala fails to finish Sevilla Marathon

Khatala fails to finish Sevilla Marathon

Top Lesotho female marathoner, 'Neheng Khatala

Story highlights

    Severe stomach cramps forced the athlete out of the race
    The long-distance runner now has her sight set on the SA Two Oceans Marathon

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TOP female marathoner, ’Neheng Khatala’s bid to prepare for both the World Athletics Championships and the Olympic Games suffered a major setback when she failed to finish the Sevilla Marathon in Spain last Sunday.

Khatala, 30, threw in the towel just 25 kilometres into the 42.2 km race.

She later told Public Eye that she suffered severe stomach cramps since she arrived in the Spanish province of Seville on Wednesday.  Her main intention to compete in the marathon was to improve her time in order to qualify for the upcoming World Athletics Championships and the Olympic Games.

The World Athletics Championships are set to be held in Budapest, Hungary from August 19 to 27. The Olympic Games are scheduled for Paris, France next year.

“The Sevilla Marathon was very important to me because I wanted to improve my time for the upcoming World Athletics Championships and the Olympic Games.”

In a bid to improve her time for the two major global events, Khatala will also compete in the 10km Absa RUN YOUR CITY race and the Two Oceans Marathon.

“My focus is now on the two races in South Africa, the Absa 10km event and the Two Oceans after the failed Sevilla campaign.”

The two events will be held next month - the ABSA race on April 2 in Gqeberha and the Two Oceans from April 15-16 in Western Cape.

Khatala, who is ranked number 1 361 in the world, is one of Lesotho's athletes who are on an Olympic Solidarity Sponsorship, specifically for the Olympic Games. 

She made her Olympics debut at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games in Japan where she appeared in 20th position in the women’s category, clocking in 2:33:15.

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This was after she and her husband, Khoarahlane Seutloali became the only Lesotho athletes to qualify for the games.

Khatala’s personal best time was 2:28:06, which she clocked in ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games in a South African marathon.

She also represented Lesotho at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games in England, where she was initially supposed to compete in the marathon event.

But at the 11th hour, she opted for the 10 000km race after her doctor warned her about a possible back injury if she competed in the long-distance event.

She later appeared 12th in that race, clocking in 33:27.35.

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