A long way to go for athletes
WITH the fifth stop of the Namibia Athletics Grand Prix series being held in Oshakati this weekend, most Namibian athletes are still a long way from qualifying for major international events this year.
The World Championships in Athletics will be held in Oregon, USA from July 15-24 and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham from July 28-August 8, but so far only the two Namibian sprinters, Christine Mboma and Beatrice Masilingi, and marathon runner Helalia Johannes qualified for both events.
The World Championships in Athletics has the highest standards, but Mboma and Masilingi have comfortably hit the 22.80 second qualifying mark for the women’s 200m on several occasions.
Mboma set a personal best of 21.78 in the Diamond League final in Zurich on September 9, but due to a lack of doping control it did not count as an under-20 world record years, with the result that his silver medal at the Olympics of 21.81 seconds is the official U20 world record.
Masilingi set a personal best of 22.18 when she finished second to Mboma at the U20 World Championships in Nairobi.
Johannes’ time of 2:31:22 at the Tokyo Olympics was within the Commonwealth Games qualifying time of 2:35:01, but outside the WAC qualifying time of 2:29:30.
However, on November 7 last year, she comfortably clocked the World Championship qualifying time when she finished fifth in the New York City Marathon in 2:26:09.
The other Namibian marathon runner at the Tokyo Olympics, Rainhold Thomas, has yet to qualify for both events. His time of 2:18:28 in Tokyo is well outside the World Championships qualifying time of 2:11:30 and the Commonwealth Games qualifying time of 2:14:09.
Mboma and Masilingi have also qualified for the U20 World Championships in Athletics in Cali, Colombia from August 1-6, where they will be joined by Tuane Silver, who has already broken the senior shot put record twice. This year.
On January 22, she broke the national record by more than a meter with a distance of 14.86 m at the second Grand Prix in Windhoek, and on February 9 she improved the record again with a distance of 15.24 m in Pretoria. These two distances largely beat the qualification mark of the U20 World Championships of 14.50m.
Performance at the Oshakati Grand Prix, meanwhile, was not so good by international standards, although there were some exciting races to entertain the crowds.
Even Namibia Corrections’ Tjiuju won a tight 100m sprint in 10.92 seconds, with Unam Athletics Club’s Gregor Appolus second in 10.94 and Unam’s Onesmus Nekundi third in 11.02, while Mahmad Bock of Unam AC won nearly 400m. in 47.44, with teammate Warren Goreseb just behind in 47.47, and Namibian Paralympian Johannes Nambala third in 50.06.
David Dam of Omaruru Athletics Club dominated the men’s middle distance events, winning the 800m in 1:52.13, followed by Arno Angula of Cheetah Athletics Club (1:52.68) and Mathew Angula of Unam (1:54.75), while Dam also won the 1500m in 3:58.20, followed by NCS’ Simon Paulus (3:58.55) and NCS’ Rainhold Thomas (3:58.81).
Simon Paulus maintained his dominance in the 5000m, winning in 14:33.86, followed by Rainhold Thomas (14:44.05) and NDF’s Wilhelm Hangala (14:45.64).
Hanganeni Fikunawa of Unam AC won the women’s 100m in 12.89, with Epifania Johannes of Kakadhinwa AC a split second behind in 12.90 and Rauha Nashongo of Unam third in 13.23, while Nandi Vass of Unam won the women’s 400m in 58.14, followed by Dolphine Kapere of Tumella AC (59.01) and Renate Ndjamba of Utokero AC (1:00.51).
Tuuliki Angala of Cheetah AC won the women’s 80m in 2:15.04, followed by Salmi Nduviteko of Nampol AC (2:17.13) and Elisia Nambudu of Kakadhinwa AC (2:19.27), while Nyanyukweni Frans of Epupa Rapid AC won the women’s 1500m in 4:44.88, followed by Saara Shikongo of Kakadhinwa AC (4:47.67) and Elisia Nambudu of Kakadhinwa AC (4:49.50).