By John Tuerijama
POISED to become Namibia’s gold hopeful at the future Olympic Games and the Commonwealth Games, local road-running star Thomas Rainhold will not feature in this year’s Old Mutual Soweto Marathon scheduled from 1 to 3 November in South Africa. Speaking during the Old Mutual Victory races series here in the capital, the-soft-spoken Rainhold told Confidente Sport that he plans to rest before restarting with his training early next month. Rainhold walked away with a cool N$15,000, the same amount won by his female compatriot Helalia Johannes, who last Saturday was crowned the MTC Sportswoman of the Year. The three-time Old Mutual Victory races series winner said that he will use his winnings for training, including buying sport gear for next season. The prize money is solely for his preparation and no family member will benefit from it, the runner said jokingly. “I am focusing on the 2019 Cape Town Marathon, which will serve as qualification for the 2020 Olympic Games pencilled for Tokyo, Japan, while also looking at taking part in the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) world championship billed for Qatar.” “I finished the 2018 Cape Town Marathon in two hours, 17 minutes and 35 seconds, which ended in 14th position which I plan on improving come next year,” he stressed. The 27-year-old said the local Old Mutual victory race series was an important competition in that it attracted foreign runners, which makes the race more competitive. He added that winning the competition for third time in a row was not easy but he was nonetheless focused on the bigger picture in terms of the world championships, Commonwealth and Olympic Games. Meanwhile, Athletics Namibia president Erwin Naimwhaka said 2018 has enjoyed a successful year for athletics nationally, regionally and internationally. He said there had been progress both in track and field and road running events locally and that both young and older athletes have brought home medals from the Commonwealth Games, Africa Youth Games, and the just concluded International Olympic Youth Games. “Old Mutual has backed Athletics Namibia’s calendar and that has incentivised athletes in pushing their standard higher.” He further said that international competitions provide the necessary exposure to local athletes, who have upped their game since they started competing in the Victory Race series. Naimwhaka said hard work, dedication and commitment pays off as he brushed off critics who in the past questioned why Helalia Johannes was included in Team Namibia for competitions. The AN president said those who labelled Johannes as “too old” were proven wrong and that the long distance queen competed against the very best in the world and came out shining by bringing the gold medal from Gold Coast, Australia.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015