Windhoek Namibia’s golden girl Johanna Benson - the country’s first and so far only Paralympic gold and silver medallist - was yesterday officially unveiled as Team Namibia’s flag bearer at this year’s Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Benson will lead the 15-member entourage in Rio where they will compete in the 15th edition of the world’s biggest multi-sport showpiece for athletes with disabilities. The games will officially kick off on September 7 and will run until September 18, making them the first Summer Paralympics to be held during the host city’s wintertime. This will mark the first time a Latin American and South American city hosts the event, the second Southern Hemisphere city and nation, the first one being the 2000 Summer Paralympics in Sydney, Australia. Speaking at yesterday’s press send-off ceremony in the capital, Namibia Paralympic Committee (NPC) secretary-general Michael Hamukwaya oozed confidence in reassuring the nation that the athletes were more than well prepared and ready to proudly represent the country. “Our training, which lasted for almost four months, went very well and I must add that all our athletes are in great shape. I think as coaches and administrators we have done our part and it’s now all up to the athletes to do the rest in Rio. But I can confidently state that they will deliver as usual,” said Hamukwaya. Namibia Sport Commission (NSC) chairman Joel Matheus urged the athletes to work extra hard and make the country proud, saying they have time and again proven that Namibia is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to Paralympics in Africa and further abroad. “With your performance in recent times, you have inspired the nation, thus we expect the same from you all. So go out there and make us proud as always, the entire nation is behind you,” he said. The athletes are Ananias Shikongo; Elias Ndimulunde; Johannes Nambala; Aloisius Martin; Tobias Moses; Johanna Benson; and Lahja Ishitile, who will compete in track and field events. The guides are David Ndeilenga, Andre Orberholster, Sem Simanda and Even Tjiuju. Athletes Ruben Soroseb (powerlifting) and Gideon Nasilowski (swimming) will also form part of the team.
New Era Reporter
2016-08-24 10:37:41 2 years ago