By John Tuerijama
LOCAL sprinters, Ernst Narib and Jolene Jacobs, are urgently raising funds to compete in International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) events in Europe, over the next two months.
In an interview with Confidente, Narib said they need to raise over N$51 000 each for flight tickets, accommodation and travelling, while they are in Europe, as the upcoming events will take place in countries like Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany.
Narib said he and Jacobs need to raise the money, and if they are successful, they want to leave the country on 24 May.
He said there will be a total of 14 events taking place, which are IAAF-accredited and that will be attended by the world best athletes.
“One has to meet certain criteria to compete in those races, as the events will be graced by top-notch athletes from as far afield as Jamaica, Africa and Europe,” Narib said.
“My focus is to qualify for the Commonwealth Games, slated for April next year, and also the IAAF World Championships later this year, while I also have to compete in the World Student Games, scheduled for Thailand in August,” said the sprinter.
Narib said apart from Jacobs, he is expected to be accompanied to Europe by four athletes from South Africa and one from Zimbabwe.
They will also be joined by Romanian and Netherlands athletes.
“These athletes must have reached certain criteria, as per the IAAF, and in my case, I am ranked within the 50 bracket in the world, while in Africa I am ranked within the 30 bracket in the 200m,” said Narib.
“I sincerely hope that there will be Good Samaritans out there, who can truly assist us financially, so that we can make this trip to Netherlands, where we will be based.
“I really want to qualify for the Commonwealth Games, and if I do that, I will have ample time to fully prepare for the games, scheduled for April next year.
“Without any doubt, I am very close to qualifying, after I ran 20.5 seconds in the 200m at the national championship, held in April. The qualifying time for the Commonwealth Games is 20.9 seconds. “However, the Namibia National Olympic Committee (NNOC) has the prerogative to decide which qualifying standard they would want to have,” Narib said.
“It’s important for both of us to take part in the IAAF meetings, so that we can run against the very best in the world, as most athletes use these platforms to prepare for bigger events, and for qualifying for games, such as the Commonwealth Games and the World Students Championships,” he said.
During the World Student Championships held in Khaza, Russia in 2014, Narib managed to reach the semi-finals 200m, while he came fifth in the 400m.
“I am now in a very good shape. Although I picked up an injury during the Botswana Invitational on 29 April, I am currently training. I did very well during the Police Championships, held in Swakopmund. I broke their records in the 100m, 200m and 400m,” he said.
“My personal ambition for this year is the Commonwealth Games qualification, and to do very well at the World Students Games, where I want to better my performance. During the All-Africa Games, held in Congo Brazzaville, I reached the semi-final,” Narib said.
“I really hope that whoever is reading this article will make a conscious decision, and assist us financially, as we truly want to attend these championships in Europe.”
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015