Swimming team ready to bring silverware from AAG

18 Aug 2015 13:00pm
WINDHOEK, 18 AUG (NAMPA) – The Namibian swimming team is in good shape to bring home silverware from the 11th edition of the All Africa Games set for Brazzaville in the Republic of the Congo in September.
The 2015 All Africa Games (AAG), which takes place from 04 to 19 September 2015, will mark the 50th anniversary of the games, as well as its return to Brazzaville which hosted the first edition in 1965.
About 22 sports codes have been announced for this year’s games, including athletics and swimming for athletes with disabilities.
Namibia will participate in athletics, boxing, cycling, karate, swimming, tennis, table tennis, gymnastics, and sports for the disabled.
Namibia was supposed to send four swimmers to the Games, but Quinton Delie and Christiaan Lamprecht withdrew from the games due to school commitments.
The two swimmers who will be representing Namibia are Daniela Lindemeier in the female category and Jorn Diekmann in the male category.
Speaking to Nampa on Tuesday, head of the swimming team Sonia Lindemeier said the team has been preparing well and they are hopeful of winning medals at this year’s Games.
“The preparation has gone well. One of our swimmers, Daniela just returned from Russia where she participated at the World Championships and this was good preparation for the upcoming games.
“The last time we were in Maputo (Mozambique) in 2011 for the All Africa Games, Daniela came fourth and this time around we are confident of doing better,” said Lindemeier.
She added that despite minor challenges being faced by the team, they are focused on competing and flying the Namibian flag high.
“Currently we are taking a new kid on the block to the games, Jorn Diekmann, and we are hopeful that he will do us proud because he is a really hard worker. The only problem we had was Daniela who fell sick, but she has recovered now,” she said.
Lindemeier added that they are aware that there will also be swimmers from South Africa who have been very dominant in the swimming code, but said the Namibian swimmers have been competing with them in a number of competitions.
“This time around we are aiming for the top three position in the competitions,” she stated.
Lindemeier noted that if the corporate world started investing in individual athletes, Namibian swimmers would be a force to reckon with all over the world.
“In our country, big companies do not want to sponsor individual athletes and this makes it very difficult to maintain swimmers since they are individual athletes, not a group. We are hoping in the future apart from the Sports Commission, other institutions will also start investing in athletes to help them prepare well for major events,” said Lindemeier.
Team Namibia returned with seven medals - one gold, one silver and five bronze – from the 2011 AAG held in Maputo.
The team will depart for Brazzaville on 27 August and return to Namibia on 21 September 2015.