Namibia yesterday continued with her overpowering performance at the inaugural U/15 World School Sport Games in Belgrade, Serbia, amassing a remarkable nine medals in track and field events to take the country’s medal tally to 15 in total.
The nine medals won yesterday are in addition to the six the country bagged on Monday. Yesterday marked day-two of the youth competition and the Namibian youngsters showed no signs of slowing down.
Sprinter Magano Naseb was first to open the medal floodgates when he won gold in the 200m, which he won in a new national record of 22.51 seconds, slashing the previous record of 22.75 seconds. Two more golds were earned by Ruano de Carvalho in long jump and the boys’ 4x100m medley relay team.
In the medley relay event that stretched over 1 000m (100m 200m, 300, 400m), Namibia held onto the lead from start to finish. By the fourth and last lap, the boys built up a huge gap of approximately 40m, making it an emphatic victory for the Land of the Brave.
The silver medals were claimed by Zack von Wielligh in 300m hurdles, Waldre Kotze in discus, Epifania Johannes in 200m, Jano Erasmus in javelin, and Naseb in long jump.
The bronze medal was earned by Erasmus in 300m hurdles. In addition, Christiaan Stefanus Burger was awarded one of five medals for Fair Play. In total, Namibia won seven gold, six silver and two bronze medals, as well as Burger’s medal for Fair Play.
The track and field competitions concluded yesterday, but the athletes will now engage in fun and educational activities before they return home on Sunday.
The chess team, however, is finding the going tough. Only Jamie-Nicole Beukes has thus far managed to grab a win in Round 2 when she beat compatriot Luré Horn.
Namibia is pitted against Ukraine, Serbia, Montenegro and Uganda in a 5-Round Rapid Chess tournament format, with a time control of 15 minutes, plus 10 seconds increment after every move.
Chess team manager Juliet Beukes told New Era Sport from Belgrade they are not putting pressure on the players to win and are allowing them to learn and gain experience at that high level of competition.
“Going into the competition, Namibia was one of the lowly ranked chess-playing countries. Chess back home is still in a developmental phase, compared to countries like Serbia and Ukraine that have been playing chess for many years,” she noted.
Round 3 and 4 will take place tomorrow, and Round 5 on Friday. On his part, Namibia Schools Sport Union national coordinator Sollie Duiker is profoundly proud of the athletes.
“The boys and girls track and field teams delivered on what they came here for. They can now build on to the next level for others to follow. We are also grateful to the government, corporate world, parents as well as the media for the support,” he added. The event started Monday and ends Sunday.