|All set for the Olympics|
|Written by Mukono Kamwi|
|Wednesday, 11 July 2012 21:26|
Namibia will join more than 200 other countries in search of sporting glory when the Summer Olympic Games roar to life in London from July 27 to August 12.To date Namibia has collected four silver medals at the games, courtesy of sprint legend, Frankie Fredericks, who bagged two silver medals at the 1992 Barcelona Games and amassed the same tally at the 1996 Atlanta games.
This year nine athletes qualified to represent the country and they face the daunting task of ending the country’s sixteen year Olympics medals drought. The athletes include shooter Gaby Ahrens who will be making her second appearance at the Olympics. She was eliminated in the first round at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, but showed remarkable improvement in winning a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games in 2010 and starts as a medal hopeful for Namibia.
Marathon runners, Beata Naigambo and Helalia Johannes Utoni, will both be making their second appearances at the Olympics. At the 2008 Games Naigambo and Utoni finished 28th and 40th respectively. They have been in blistering form locally and broke the national record three times over the past twelve months.
Naigambo won a 10km road race in London over the weekend to underline her status as a medal prospect. Also making a second appearance at the games is boxer, Mujandjae Kasuto, who will be joined by compatriot Jonas Matheus in the amateur boxing tournament. Kasuto fell at the first hurdle in the last Olympics, but will be hoping for a change in fortune this time around. The boxers have spent a month training in Cuba, as part of their preparations for the Olympics.
Rounding up the list of qualifiers are, cyclist Dan Craven, mountain biker Mark Bassingthwaighte, wrestler Sem Shilimela and 400m queen Tjipekapora Herunga, who will all be making maiden appearances at the games. Herunga has been in impressive form lately and recently claimed a respectable 4th place finish at the IAAF World Challenge meeting in Spain.
The team will leave Namibia for the games on July 20. Announcing the schedule, Namibia’s Chef de Mission to the games, Ndeulipula Hamutumwa, said the team will pay a courtesy call on President Hifikepunye Pohamba at State House on July 18 for the official send-off. Hamutumwa stated that the Namibia National Olympics Committee (NNOC) and Government had availed enough resources to the athletes to ensure success at the games.
The Namibian team has yet to decide on which of the nine athletes will be the flag-bearer at the opening ceremony.