Benson and Nambala reach finals in Rio

09 Sep 2016 11:50am
By Hesron Kapanga
RIO DE JANEIRO, 09 SEP (NAMPA) – Namibia’s 2012 Paralympic Games gold medallist Johanna Benson and T13 sprinter Johannes Nambala have reached the final of their events at the 2016 Paralympic Games underway in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Benson and Nambala were the third and fourth Namibian athletes to compete after the event opened Wednesday.
Benson finished third in heat one of the women’s T37, 100m with a personal best of 14.23 seconds behind Georgina Hermitage of Great Britain who finished first and equalled her world record of 13.39 seconds which she set in May this year. Yescarly Medina of Venezuela finished second. The final is slated for Friday at 22h36 Namibian time.
Meanwhile, Nambala reached the final of the men’s T13, 100m race with an impressive second-place finish of 10.81, second behind world record holder Jason Smyth of Ireland who ran 10.76 seconds. Smyth set up the world record of 10.46 seconds at the 2012 Paralympic Games that were held in London.
Speaking to Nampa after the race, Nambala said he is looking forward to the final on Friday and he hopes to do better when he steps back on to the tracks again.
“I was picked in a difficult heat with the world champion and I still managed to come second and book myself a place in the final. I am happy that I made it to the final as it will give me a chance to hopefully challenge for a medal,” he said.
The final of the men’s T13 race will be on Friday at 16h09 Namibian time.
Nine athletes are representing Namibia at these games in athletics, swimming and powerlifting. The major international multi-sport event involves athletes with a range of disabilities and is governed by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).
Team Namibia returned with two medals from the 2012 Paralympic Games - one gold and one silver, both won by Benson.