Athletes doing well in Rio: Hamukwaya

15 Sep 2016 11:40am
RIO DE JANEIRO, 15 SEP (NAMPA) – Namibia Paralympics Committee (NPC) Secretary-General, Michael Hamukwaya says the Namibian athletes' hard work throughout the year is paying off.
Speaking to Nampa in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Wednesday, Hamukwaya said he is happy with the team’s performance so far at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games that started on 07 September and will end 18 September.
Team Namibia has thus far won two medals: Johannes Nambala won silver in the men’s T13, 100 metre (m) and Ananias Shikongo bronze in the men’s T11, 100m.
“As a coach of these athletes, I really feel proud to see them doing so well and setting African records. We are really proud of the extra effort athletes are putting in while they compete with the best in the world,” Hamukwaya said.
He added that Namibia and South Africa are currently the only teams representing southern Africa in terms of the medals they have so far won.
“In the past, we had one athlete winning medals at the games but at the moment, we have two and we are hoping they win even more.
“What is making me happy is that most of our athletes are going through to the final rounds of their events, which is really a good thing and shows progress when it comes to athletes’ development.”
So far, Lahja Ishitile has set regional records in the T11, 100 m with a time of 12.59 seconds and T11, 200m with a time of 25.37 seconds, which is also her personal best.
Nambala set a new African record in the T13, 100m race with a time of 10.78 seconds.
Shikongo also set a Paralympic record in the men’s T11 200m with a time of 22.48 seconds and an African record of 11.11 seconds in the men’s T11, 100m.
Hamukwaya added that they are now looking forward to finishing the competition on a positive note and winning more medals, which might attract more investment in the sport.
Since the Namibia - National Paralympic Committee joined the International Paralympic Committee in 1999, they have won five medals.
Reginald Benade won Namibia’s first Paralympic medal when he came third in the men's F35/36 discus at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games and Johanna Benson won Namibia's first Paralympic gold medal at the 2012 London Paralympic Games when she was victorious in the women's T37, 200m. She also claimed a silver in the women's T37, 100m in London.
The other two medals were won at the current Paralympic Games – Nambala’s silver and Shikongo’s bronze.