Name: Helalia Lukeiko Johannes
Date of Birth: 13/08/1980
Place of Birth: Oshali village, Ohangwena region
Marital Status: Married
Car: Toyota Legend 45
Your toughest career race: The 2019 IAAF World Championships, where I won a bronze medal.
Most memorable race: Winning the Nagoya Women Marathon in a time of 2:22:25.
Biggest disappointment: The 2014 Commonwealth Games, I was leading the race before an injury caused me to slow down and ended up finishing fifth.
Biggest influence on your career: No one specifically. My biggest influence has always been my commitment, training and working hard.
Favourite local or international runner: Kenya’s Catherine Ndereba.
If not marathon/athletics, which other sport would you have played? It would have been football.
At an advanced age of 39 and still dominating at all levels, are we likely to see you retire anytime soon? Retiring is not something that crosses my mind at the moment, because I’m still better than those who are younger than me.
With the exception of yourself, Namibia has been struggling to produce top-class long distance runners, to what do you attribute that to? I say athletes must work hard, have discipline and remain committed to their goals. And also, government needs to seriously support athletes throughout and also avail facilities that will enable athletes to compete with the rest of the world.
In terms of sports, what does Namibia need to do to catch up with the rest of the world? If we as a country change the way we manage sport, Namibia will in no time have some of the best athletes in the world. Possibly even better than me.
Where do you see Namibian athletics in five years? If poor funding of sports remain as is, than we will be in the same position for the next five years. But, if more funding is channeled towards sports and facilities are made available, Namibia will be well represented globally in the future.
Your ambitions for 2020: My ambition for 2020 was to represent my country for the fourth time at this year’s Tokyo Olympic Games but the games have been postponed to 2021 due to Covid-19.
Haile Gebrselassi, Eliud Kipchoge or Wilson Kipsang: Eliud Kipchoge
Maria Mutola, Caster Semenya or Agnes Samaria: Caster Semenya
Olympics, World Championships or Commonwealth Games: Olympics
Christmas or Valentine’s Day: Christmas
Fridays or Saturdays: Saturdays
Big party or small gatherings: Small gatherings
What’s worse, laundry or dishes: Dishes
Long or short hair: Long hair
Coffee or tea: Tea
Jogging or hiking: Jogging
Winter or summer: Summer
TV Shows or movies: TV Shows