Several athletes who competed in various international competitions recently are optimistic about what the future holds for them in terms of their sports.
The Commonwealth Games’ athletes brought home four bronze medals, finishing in 39th position overall in Birmingham, United Kingdom.
The Special Olympics Namibia Special Gladiators won gold at the Unified Football Games in Detroit, USA. The young girls had a tough start to the games, losing three matches before they got their groove back and beat India and the United Arab Emirates to win Division 3 in their debut participation.
The chess team competed in the 44th World Chess Olympiad in Chennai, India, and produced its best performance ever in the competition with five men and five women players.
The men’s team was seeded 121st at the start of the tournament, and improved their ranking by 16 places to end 105th. They missed their goal to reach the top 100th spot in the world by five places. The women’s team was ranked 123rd, and ended 118th at the end of the tournament.
Due to the excellent performance by the men’s team, Dante Beukes, who played board one, was given the opportunity to fight against three Grandmasters. He secured one victory.
The chess team’s manager Velda Jansen told New Era Sport that she was impressed with the way they performed, especially since there were few competitions before the event.
“This was the best performance so far, compared to previous years, as can be seen from the remarkable results achieved by the men and women’s teams at the Chess Olympiad 2022,” she said wreathed in smiles.
“We look forward to the future, and I am hoping when we return to compete at that level again, we will get the results we need. At this point, I am happy and satisfied with what we have, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for us.”
Paralympic athlete Bradley Murere, who made his debut at the just-ended Commonwealth Games, said the competition was a great opportunity, and he learned a lot.
“I personally had a great time participating in the prestigious Commonwealth Games. It was a good opportunity for me; it brought the best out of me and going forward, I will work hard,” he added.
“Heading forward, we will work hard and qualify for more international competitions, which include the Paralympic Games and All Africa Games.”
Sports minister Agnes Tjongarero welcomed the teams back on Friday, and said the country is grateful to them for representing Namibia with honour and dignity in the various competitions.
“Thank you very much for raising the Namibian flag high in America, India and England. Congratulations, your hard work has paid off,” she stated.
Tjongarero added that while not all the athletes brought home medals, she was grateful that Namibian athletes improved their performances through competing against the best, from which they gained experience.
She thus called on the various sporting codes to continue identifying new talent and grooming them to continue winning medals at international events.
Additional reporting from Nampa