September 14 , 1998 17:36PM

By Zabidi Osman

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 14 (Bernama) -- Lesotho view their participation in the 16th Commonwealth Games squash competition here as a learning tour for their young players.

"We do not expect them to make any surprises...not against the top world ranked players," said Lesotho's National Squash Association general secretary, General Sentle said. "The whole idea of us participating is to let them see the world's best players...see how they train and play," he told reporters at the National Squash Complex here.

All three Lesotho players who took part in the men's singles event lost in the first round last Thursday. Sentle said the three players, Isepo Nkopane and brothers Bobo and Lentsoe Monapula came from the country's squash development programme started four years ago.All of them are under 20 years old and joined the programme as schoolboys, he said.

"We brought them here as most of the world leading players are taking part in the friendly Games...this is a good opportunity to let them see the players performing live, not just by watching videos and television" Sentle said the idea was a psychological plan to let the youngsters observed that the top players are no different from them: "with no extra hands or anything but they went to the top through hard work".

Sentle who was full of praise with the squash facilities and development programme in Malaysia said his association would like to emulate the feat achieved by the Malaysian national squash body.

"We lack the kind of excellent facilities available here but we have the talents and very eager youngsters," he said, adding that what they really need now was coaching and technical assistance from fellow Commonwealth nations.

Sentle said only 10 squash courts were available in Lesotho.-- BERNAMA

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