JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA
Paralympics coach Michael Hamukwaya has heaped praise on Namibia’s star athlete Johannes Nambala, who has won gold at the World Para Athletics Championships.
Hamukwaya said Nambala’s hard work and determination were what made him a champion on the day.
“We are very happy for him because he has worked so hard for the nation and I believe it was a well-deserved win.
“Everyone in the camp is happy for Nambala because of what he just achieved on Saturday in Dubai.
“For now, we just have to focus on winning more medals for our beloved country,” Hamukwaya said.
The World Para Athletics Championships are under way at the Dubai Club for People of Determination in the United Arab Emirates.
With his win on Saturday night, Nambala became the first Namibian athlete to be crowned a world champion on two occasions. He first became a world champion in the T13 400m at the 2013 World Para Athletics Championships in Lyon, France.
And in 2015 in Doha and 2017 in London, the Namibian sprinter settled for silver medals after the Moroccan world record holder Mohamed Amguoun beat him to the line on both occasions.
To reach the final on Saturday in Dubai, Nambala ran a seasonal best time of 49.29 seconds on Friday night but improved on it in the final as he clocked 48.73 seconds which is his seasonal best.
Speaking to Nampa, Nambala said he was ready for his competitors because the world recorder holder was not at the championships.
“We had Russian athletes who are strong, but I knew I was well prepared for them because my biggest competitor and the world record holder didn’t compete at this year’s championships and I knew the gold medal was just for me to lose,” he said.
He added that he is happy to see that Team Namibia travelled with a group of young athletes who are still upcoming and hopefully they will follow in his footsteps and do the country proud in the future.
Namibia Paralympic Committee secretary-general Michael Hamukwaya told Nampa that Nambala’s medal should be celebrated at home as it did not come easy.
- Additional reporting by NAMPA