With Namibia having received only three slots for its para-athletes at this year’s Commonwealth Games, the country’s veteran campaigner Ananias Shikongo, Bradley Murere and Chris Kinda are the three athletes that will represent the country in that discipline.
Namibia Paralympics Committee secretary general Michael Hamukwaya yesterday confirmed to New Era Sport that the 2022 Commonwealth Games slots have been allocated to the various participating countries, and Namibia was only allotted three slots.
“Although we were looking forward to more slots, we were unfortunately only allocated three at the upcoming Commonwealth Games in England, and Shikongo, Murere and Kinda are the three athletes that will go represent the country that side. It’s difficult for the other athletes that also performed well this year and last year, but unfortunately, those are the three names that we have for the Commonwealth Games,” said Hamukwaya.
Veteran sprinter Shikongo, who competes in the T11 category, will be joined by his guide Even Tjiviju, while Kinda who competes in the T12 sprint events, will be accompanied by his guide Riwaldo Goagoseb. Murere will represent the country in the T46 category.
Hamukwaya, a renowned sport administrator-cum-coach, shared that the three athletes have been hard at work training individually with their respective coaches at their various bases, saying he remains confident and hopeful that the three athletes will do the country proud.
“The feedback that we have been getting is great, they are training hard and looking forward to putting up a superb show in England. Like I always say, if we start with our preparations for major international competitions early as a country, we will stand a good chance of getting more slots at big events such as the Commonwealth Games and others. If one starts early with preparations and the athletes also perform well at those competitions, one will always have the advantage of getting more slots.”
Athletes with disability are included as full members of their national teams, making the Commonwealth Games the first fully inclusive international multi-sport event. In 2018, the Games became the first global multi-sport event to feature an equal number of men and women’s medal events.
This year’s Commonwealth Games will take place in Birmingham, England from 28 July to 8 August. It will mark England’s third time hosting the Commonwealth Games after London in 1934 and Manchester in 2002.