Local athletics coach Bethold Karumendu is impressed with the overall upward trajectory of his protégé David Dam, whom he says is destined for greater things and come early next year, the whole of Africa will get to know his name.
Dam, who is one of the country’s foremost rising middle-distance runners, gave a good account of himself at the Athletics South Africa (ASA) Grand Prix Continental Tour in Germiston, South Africa, and at the GIM in Botswana during his maiden athletics season this year.
The 23-year-old Dam clocked a time of 1:48:6 in the 800m while attaining his personal best of 3:34:8 in the 1 500m at the Gaborone International Meet (GIM). He also scooped gold in the 1 500m and a silver in the 800m events during the Athletics Namibia (AN) Senior National Championships, held at the Windhoek Independence stadium this year.
Those impressive performances were enough to convince Karumendu that the Dam is just getting started and with adequate exposure to top competitions, the runner could become the next hot shot in the region and in Africa at large.
Speaking to New Era Sport yesterday, Karumendu said there is still plenty of room for improvement for the young athlete and going forward, he will work on perfecting his overall execution and adaptation to the pressure and intensity that comes with competing at major events outside the country.
“He did very well in his first season. He impressed in South Africa during the Germiston Grand Prix and also at the GIM. It is very difficult to clock such times in a span of less than a year, and I am proud and happy with the times he did over there,” said Karumendu.
Currently in the off-season, Dam has been taking it slowly through light training as he continues to look forward to the new athletics season, which Karumendu said will be a defining season for the youngster.
“He is in off-season right now but has been doing some light training and next month, he will do easy running, which will be every day. From October this year to January next year, we will start with general preparation for bigger competitions, and that will mean the start of the new athletics season. We will change the current programme that we have been using in our training, as we are now targeting more speed in the new season,” he added.
“We want to improve the current times in the 800m at the All-Africa Games that will be staged in Ghana next year. I believe that with the amount of time we are putting in our training, it will be possible to further improve our times at next year’s games and leave our mark,” he added.