Invest more money to win medals: Fredericks

17 Aug 2016 13:10pm
WINDHOEK, 17 AUG (NAMPA) - Namibian sprint icon Frank Fredericks said he did not expect much from the Namibians at the 2016 Olympic Games, because many of them qualified late and did not have enough time to prepare.
He has been observing the Namibian and other athletes at the games since it started on 05 August in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
“If you qualify in the year of the Olympic Games it becomes difficult for one to hope for a medal. We need to prepare for the next Olympics which are four years from now.
“We all have to come together as administrators and see what we can do, maybe we should invest more money and hope that we win medals in the next games,” Fredericks said.
He told the Namibian media representative in Rio de Janeiro that during his competitive days, he would qualify well in advance, and go into the Olympic Games well prepared, which in turn helped him win medals. Fredericks is Namibia's most decorated Olympian with four silver medals from the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games. He won two silvers in 100m and two more in the 200m events.
Overall, he is satisfied with the quality of competition at the summer games, which he is attending as a member of the International Olympic Committee.
Asked about athletes who impressed him, he was quick to note that American swimmer Michael Phelps had done well. Phelps won five gold medals and one silver this year, bringing his total to 28 medals, with 23 of them being gold, since his first bronze medal in 2004.
He also noted that Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt has done well again, and he is looking forward to Bolt’s 200 metres (m) event on Thursday.
South Africa’s 400m gold medallist Wayde van Niekerk also made an impression on Fredericks.
“I might be biased being from southern Africa, but running 43.03 and breaking the world record and Olympic running from lane eight is an incredible feat. It is incredible what the young man has done and he is only 24 years old. I look forward to seeing what he can do in the next Olympics,” Fredericks said.
Van Niekerk shattered the record set by American Michael Johnson 17 years ago.
He noted that Africa will continue doing better to get more medals, saying the continent always does well in the track and field events.