Open water swimmer Phillip Seidler believes that this year’s Olympic Games would be the one where Namibia will bring back a gold medal, judging from the crop of athletes who will represent Namibia at the much-anticipated games.
Seidler is part of 11 athletes heading to Tokyo, Japan for the 2020 Summer Games set to commence on 23 July and end on 8 August.
He was amongst 55 men who raced at the FINA Marathon Swim Qualifier in Portugal last month, which saw him finish 14th by clocking a time of 2:03:11 to secure the only remaining African quota spot. In a recent interview with New Era Sport, Seidler, who departs for Japan on 26 July, said they are a strong team this year.
“I believe there is a lot of potential to bring a gold medal back. We have good sprinters (Christine Mboma, Beatrice Masilingi) who are strong contenders for gold, also in boxing with Jonas Jonas; he has such great potential,” he said.
Asked about his preparations, Seidler said it is on course.
“Training at the moment has been well; I only started Monday with my training. This week we are doing eight training sessions and four gym sessions. I am training hard because I have the fitness and the strength. I have a great team and good people on my team, which makes it easier for me.”
“Next week will be my last hard week of training. It’s going to be a tough one with nine sessions, and I am going to swim about 70km, maybe even 80km, and have some gym sessions.”
The Swakopmund native, who will also make his Olympic debut, said being able to represent Namibia at the Olympics is one of his proudest moments, adding that he worked almost eight years to make the Olympic cut by giving up on a lot of things.
“It means the world to compete at the Olympics. I have been dreaming about this moment for 10 years, and I think I have achieved my life goal at the age of 23, and I am grateful. To be honest, I still can’t believe that I made it to the Olympics, it did not sink in yet and I am much honoured to be able to represent Namibia at the Olympics, which is the world’s biggest sporting stage.”
In terms of his expectations at the Olympics, he said his goal is to finish in the top 10.
“It’s difficult to say. I was aiming to come in the top 10 after competing in Portugal. But now with the Covid-19 (pandemic), if I can be honest with you, I am hoping to make the top 10. I am expecting the competition to be stiff but I am from the Land of the Brave – I believe there is nothing that can challenge me. I am born a warrior and I will do good at the Olympics.”
Namibia’s Olympic team consists of some young and vibrant athletes such as Christine Mboma, Beatrice Masilingi, and Jonas Jonas to mention a few.