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Home / Team Namibia heads to Cameroon for Olympic qualifiers

Team Namibia heads to Cameroon for Olympic qualifiers

2024-06-19  Maurice Kambukwe

Team Namibia heads to Cameroon for Olympic qualifiers

Namibia’s track and field athletes are gearing up for the crucial Senior African Athletics Championship in Cameroon.

They are aiming to secure their spots at the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris, France.

A group of 25 athletes will compete in the competition, with half of the team having departed yesterday for Douala, Cameroon, where they will compete in the Olympic qualifying event from 21 to 26 June, with the other half set to leave today.

“One group will leave today (yesterday), and the remaining athletes will depart tomorrow (today),” said secretary general of Athletics Namibia (AN) Martha Emvula as she explained that the team’s departure in two groups is due to visa issues. 

Meanwhile, Namibia’s top sprinter Christine Mboma will join the team directly from her training base in Paris.

Her compatriot, Beatrice Masilingi, who is also training in Paris, will not travel to Cameroon for competition.

Speaking to this publication last week, Henk Botha, Mboma’s coach, said the team will have various training camps in Paris before they leave for Cameroon. 

“Yes, we will have various meets here before we fly to Cameroon, where Mboma will compete in the upcoming championship for Olympic qualifiers,” he said. 

He said Mboma was set to compete in a 100-metre invitational meet in France last night. Botha added that Masilingi is also with the team in France. However, she is not signed with him; he is just supporting her to qualify for the
Olympics.

Four Namibian athletes have qualified for the Olympics thus far. They are swimmer Phillip Seidler, cyclists Vera Looser and Alex Miller, as well as long-distance runner Helalia Johannes.

Seidler said he is ready to make the country proud. “My goal is simple, to swim my heart out and give it everything I got to make Namibia proud. For Namibia, the biggest achievement isn’t always the medals but the participation, showing that even athletes with limited resources can reach the pinnacle of sport, which is the Olympics,” he said.

This competition serves as the final chance for athletes to book their tickets to the Olympics. The cut-off for qualification is 30 June.

This year marks Namibia’s ninth consecutive appearance at the Olympic Games since their debut in Barcelona in 1992, where they sent six athletes across three sports. 

Although that remains the lowest number of participants to date, Namibia remarkably secured two of its five total Olympic medals at that historic event, thanks to legendary sprinter Frank Fredericks. He continued his success four years later with two silver medals.

The highest number of Namibian athletes ever sent to the Olympics was 11, achieved in both Sydney 2000 and the most recent Games in Tokyo 2021, where Mboma brought home a silver medal in the 200-metre dash.

 

The Cameroon-bound athletes are:

Women 

Sade de Sousa, Christine Mboma, Ndawana Haitembu, Jade Nangula, Johanna Ludgerus, Tuulika Angala, Katjozoo Kambiri, Napuumue Hengari and Hanganeni Fikunawa.

 

Men 

Gilbert Hainuca, Gregor Appols, Hatago Murere, Elvis Gaseb, Ivan Danny Geldenhuys, Elton
//Hoseb, David Dam, Andre Retief, Lionel Coetzee, Roger Haitenge, Cornelius Khun, Ryan Williams, Onesmus Nekundi, Mohammed Bok, Ezra Nakale and Tjimatjitua Kuhanga. 

 

- mkambukwe@nepc.com.na


2024-06-19  Maurice Kambukwe

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