By John Tuerijama
ATHLETICS sensation, Sade de Sousa, has qualified for the IAAF Under-18 World Championships, after sterling performances at last Saturday’s 2017 Track and Field National Championships, held in Windhoek.
De Sousa clocked 11.85 seconds in the 100m final for elite women, and 24.30 seconds in the 200m, to qualify for the junior world championships, which is scheduled to take place in Nairobi, Kenya from 12 to 16 July.
Athletics Namibia (AN) President, Erwin Naimwhaka, confirmed to Confidente that De Sousa’s times are will within the qualifying standards of 12.15 and 25.16 seconds, respectively.
Ivan Danny Geldenhuys of Triomf Athletics Club has also qualified for the 100m hurdles at the junior world champs, but had done so at a previous event.
Asked which athletes had impressed him the most last Saturday, Naimwhaka singled out Ernst Narib, who won the 200m and 400m races, as well as Thomas Reinhold and Leena Ekandjo, who both scooped the double, by winning the 5 000m and 10 000m races in their categories.
“De Sousa had an excellent 200m, and was just beaten in the 100m by Jolene Jacobs (a senior), with the duo both going below 12 seconds. Dantango Gurirab also did well, and beat a quality field of athletes in the 100m,” said Naimwhaka.
“Indeed, I am very happy and proud that we were able to successfully host the 2017 Track and Field National Championships. I wish to thank Coca-Cola Namibia, who was the only corporate partner for the event.
“The event would not have been successful, if it was not for the organising committee, chaired by Xenia Pieterse, the competition director, Leoni van Rensburg, and of course the spectators, who turned up in numbers and contributed to an excellent atmosphere at the stadium.”
Naimwhaka added that there would be more opportunities for other athletes to qualify for the junior world champs, including this weekend, when the National Schools Championships take place on Saturday at the Independence Stadium in Windhoek.
“I am happy, because in the past we have participated in these (international) events, only under wildcard entries.”
Meanwhile, last Saturday’s national championships did not produce any qualifier for the IAAF World Championships, which are slated for 3 to 14 August in London, England.
“No (senior) athletes have qualified at the national championships, but there were promising performances, and given the further opportunities, we may still get qualifiers in track and field (for London),” said the AN president.
Naimwhaka added that last Saturday had seen “the best crowd in a while”, at an athletic competition in Namibia.
“This created a really good atmosphere for the athletes, and in turn, the spectators were treated to really good quality races.”
He said the great attendance was due to the local media, which played their part in creating awareness about the event.
“I hope that we will continue to improve in this aspect, and bring more spectators to our competitions, which will create opportunities for athletes and corporate Namibia to work together, and take athletics to greater heights,” Naimwhaka added.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015