President of the Namibia National Olympic Committee (NNOC) Abner Xoagub has expressed satisfaction with the growing number of Namibian athletes who have qualified for the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games, which will take place from 23 July until 8 August 2021 in Japan.
Briefing the media on the work done so far to prepare the athletes for the coming Olympics, Xoagub said the NNOC, in collaboration with the various federations and athletes’ coaches, great investment has been made towards ensuring the country has more athletes who have qualified for the world’ biggest sporting showpiece, the Olympics.
At the moment, seven Namibian athletes have confirmed qualifications to the Tokyo Olympics – and they are: sprinter Beatrice Masilingi, veteran marathoner Helalia Johannes, long-distance runner Tomas Rainhold, boxer Jonas Junias Jonas, cyclist Vera Adrian, cyclist Dan Craven and rower Maike Diekman.
Young sprinting sensation Christine Mboma have already met the Olympic qualifying time with her win in the women’s 400m race at last month’s Athletics Namibia (AN) Grand Prix in Oshakati, where she clocked an astonishing time of 50.97 seconds – beating the Olympic qualifying time of 51.35 seconds. She now awaits for World Athletics to confirm her time and subsequent qualification to this year’s Olympics.
Other athletes who are also pushing for qualification are swimmer Phillip Seidler, swimmer Alex Skinner and karatekas Freddy Mwiya Jnr and Suzelle Pronk. Both Mwiya Jnr and Pronk are targeting Olympics qualifiers in Paris in June, while Seidler is targeting qualifiers in Portugal – also in June.
Skinner will this month push for a place in Tokyo at a qualification event slated for the USA, while other athletes such as gymnasts Talia Loveira and Carane van Zyl also both await their Olympics confirmation from the international body.
“On Saturday, 24 April 2021, we will organise a promotional event focusing on the Tokyo Olympics, where members of the public will get an opportunity to see and meet our elite athletes who will represent the country at the coming Olympics. The event will take place at Wernhill Shopping Mall and will be done in partnership with the Japanese Embassy. Athletes such as Beatrice Masilingi, Helalia Johannes, Tomas Rainhold, Jonas Junias Jonas, Christine Mboma and others will be there to meet and greet the public,” said Xoagub.