Namibian medal magnets Ananias Shikongo and Johannes Nambala have again proved to the world that Namibia is a force to be reckoned with on the international Athletics arena. The duo bagged three gold medals recently at the 9th FAZAA World Para Athletics Grand Prix in Dubai.
Nambala won two gold medals in the 200m men final clocking in at 22,08 seconds ahead of Dragsund Vegard (23,56 sec) of Norway and Mashhadian Mohamma (23,74 sec) of Iran. The champion added another gold in the 400 m men T11/12/13 by clocking 49,01 seconds ahead of Hamoumou, Mohamed Fouad (50,43 sec) of Algeria and Mashhadian Khouzani, Mohamma (51,78 sec) of Iran.
Golden boy Shikongo also matched up to expectations when he collected gold in the 100m in a time of 11,45 seconds. In the 200 meters T11, Shikongo outran Great Britain’s Powell Dan but could not get the medal due to the fact that they were only two during the race.
After winning his race, Shikongo went on social media expressing his disappointment in the 200m race. “Had a good race yesterday in the 200m men final T11. Finished in a time of 23,50 sec but unfortunately there was just one other competitor, so no medal,” read the post which ended with a sad emoji.
The duo have not only set their hands on more gold medals but they have also set leading world times which coach Michael Hamukwaya is proud of.
“I am very happy with the results as these are world class performances by these champions. I am happy with the times at this point in time as this was their major championship after six months of no international action,” said Hamukwaya.
Hamukwaya said while the country and the world celebrate the duo’s victories, participation in upcoming international races remain a dream for now. He said this is due to the fact that the National Paralympic Committee does not have the funds to send the athletes to these competitions.
“We would like to take part in another grand prix as there will be ten of these events around the world just before the IPC World Championship in July in London.”
“I wish we can sent a bigger team to the grand prix as a motivation for these athletes and it also markets our country. ”
The National Paralympic Committee (NPC) however reserved their gratitude to Nampower for making their trip to Dubai possible and hopes their generous contributions rubs off to other companies to follow suit and upgrade the sporting image of the country at the moment.
As NPC prepares the athletes for the mega event in July while at the same time waiting for a portential sponsor to come on board, Hamukwaya acknowledged the finacial constraints in the Namibian sport fraternity.
“We at NPC of Namibia do not have funds to send the team to the next grand prix as we all know the sports budget was cut extensively.
So we are calling on corporate Namibia to support these world class athletes for Namibia to continue being on the global map for years to come” concluded Hamukwaya.
The team is expected to return home tonight at 21h20.