Namibian athletes with disability won a total of 20 medals at the recently concluded 2021 Toyota South African Sports Association for Physically Disabled (SASAPD) national championships held in Port Elizabeth between Saturday and Monday.
Wheelchair racer Roodly Gowaseb competed in the T54 800 and 200 metres where he won gold medals, while in the 400 he won a silver medal.
Lahja Ishitile (T11 class for visually impaired) won three gold medals in the 200 and 400 metre sprints, while the third gold came from her long jump event (F11 category, for field item), while reknowned T11 sprint star Ananias Shikongo won two gold medals in the 100 and 400 metres.
Johanna Benson, who competes in the T37 category for cerebral disabilities, won a gold medal in 100 and a silver in her 200 m race.
Bradley Murere, a T46 amputee athlete, added to Namibia’s gold medals with his impressive performances in the 100 and 400, where he competed in the under-20 age category.
F37 athlete Simon Shihepo threw a distance of 8.95m in the men’s shot-put to win a silver medal, while in the discus throw, he finished third overall with a 31.82 metre throw and walked away with a bronze medal.
Sylvia Shivolo, who threw a new national record of 6.02m in the shot-put of the F40 category for atletes of short stature, won a silver medal.
Petrus Karuli, who competes in the T37 800 and 1500m, took bronze and gold in the respective event.
T13 sprinter Johannes Nambala won a gold medal in the 400 and bronze in the 100, while Chris Kinda, who competes in the T12 category, won the 200 m silver.
The championships saw athletes from Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and South Africa compete at their final qualifying event to be used by the International Paralympic Committee to award final slots to National Paralympic Committees for the Paralympic Games slated for Tokyo, Japan in August and September this year.
Michael Hamukwaya, the Namibia Paralympic Committee’s secretary-general and coach of the team, told Nampa he was happy with the performances of Namibia’s 11 athletes and four guides
“We came here with a small group of athletes and them winning these medals shows their hunger and commitment of wanting to qualify for the Paralympic Games.
“We are now going to wait for 05 May 2021 to see how many slots will be added to those we already have and we can then see who will represent the country in Tokyo,” said Hamukwaya.
Bradley Murere in action during his race.