Paralympics relay team missed chances

13 Sep 2016 18:20pm
By Hesron Kapanga
RIO DE JANEIRO, 13 SEP (NAMPA) – Namibia’s relay team expressed their disappointment for missing out on silverwares in the men’s T11-13, 4x100 metre (m) race of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games underway in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The team consists of Martin Aloisius, T12; Johannes Nambala, T13; Ananias Shikongo, T11; and Moses Tobias, T11 with their guides Ivan Tjiviju and Andre Oberholster.
They finished last in the final on Tuesday with a time of 43.66 seconds behind Uzbekistan who came third.
Brazil won the race with a time of 42.37 seconds, which was a new Paralympic record.
To reach the final, the Namibian team finished second in heat-two of the qualifiers on Monday after setting their seasonal best time of 43.49 seconds.
Speaking to Nampa after the race, Nambala said he was disappointed that they missed out on a medal, as this was a great opportunity for them to win silverwares as a team that trained very hard.
“We have trained really hard for this race and we are supposed to work together as a team but someone messed up after I started very well. We now have to go back to the drawing boards and fix what happened today so it doesn’t repeat itself in the future.”
Shikongo, who was the last athlete to sprint to the line in the relay team, said the damage has been caused and they now have to look elsewhere for silverwares.
“I received the stick late and it was very difficult to catch up with the other teams, so there is nothing we could do coming from behind. I am not happy for not winning a medal today but we will work hard in other events to hopefully win something,” said Shikongo.
Johannes Nambala won the first medal for Namibia at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. He won silver in the men’s T13, 100m race on Friday and Shikongo won the second medal, which was bronze in the men’s T11, 100m race on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Johanna Benson also finished last in the women’s T37, 400m race earlier Tuesday morning.
She was 13 seconds behind winner, Georgina Hermitage of Great Britain, who set up a new world record of one minute and 53 seconds (1:00.53). Benson finished eighth in 1:12.35 seconds.
She now has the T37, long jump to compete in on Wednesday at 16h05 Namibian time.
Shikongo and Tobias will also compete in the heats of the men’s T11, 200m that will start 23h45 Namibian time Tuesday.
Nine athletes are representing Namibia at this year’s Paralympic games in athletics, swimming and powerlifting.
This major international multi-sport event involves athletes with a range of disabilities and is governed by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).