The first leg of the 4-legged Coca Cola Athletics Namibia (AN) Grand Prix will take place this coming weekend at the coastal town of Swakopmund, while the other remaining three legs are slated for Oshakati, Rietfontein and Windhoek in the coming weeks.
AN recently announced its revamped athletics calendar, which will now see Swakopmund hosting the opening leg of the popular Grand Prix this Saturday. The second leg of the competition, which will also serve as a qualifier to this year’s Tokyo Olympic Games, is scheduled for Rietfontein on 20 March, while the third leg heads to Oshakati on 27 March.
The fourth and final leg will see participants coming to the capital Windhoek on 24 April to compete for top honours in one of the country’s biggest athletics event.
The country’s athletics governing body also announced that the National Relays Championship and the Senior Track & Field National Championship will also both be held next month in Windhoek, with the Relays Championship taking place between 9-10 April and the Senior Track & Field Championship takes place between 16-17 April. The events will mark the return of athletics after a prolonged layoff due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Speaking to New Era Sport yesterday, AN secretary general Martha Emvula said that after postponing the events more than three times due to the coronavirus pandemic, they decided to stage the events in the coming weeks but under strict Covid-19 rules and regulations.
“After postponing our activities for sometimes, we decided to go on and stage the planned activities under strict Covid-19 guidelines. We realised that shelving these events will not benefit our athletes who are still vying to get spots at the coming Olympic Games,” she said.
Meanwhile, the secretary general of the Namibia Paralympics Committee (NPC), Michael Hamukwaya, said para-athletes are also hoping to use the upcoming competitions to improve their rankings and hopefully boost their chances of qualifying for this year’s Tokyo Paralympic Games.
“It’s an opportunity we have been waiting for some time now, we will make use of these events to improve the rankings of our athletes, who are still hoping to qualify for the Tokyo Paralympic Games. The guys have been busy training but no competition, this will be a good testing ground. We are looking forward to these events,” Hamukwaya said.