Junior athletes representing Namibia at the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) championships underway in Lusaka, Zambia put in impressive performances to reach the next round of the competition.
The African Junior Athletics Championships is a biennial continental athletics event for junior athletes from African nations, competing in silverware.
This year’s combined Under 18-20 (U18-20) championship is being held in Lusaka from 29 April to 03 May. Team Namibia travelled with 11 athletes competing in the track and field events.
On the opening day of the championships on Saturday, Namibian athletes competing in the U18 and U20, 100 metres (m) reached the semi-finals after running good times in their respective heats.
U18 women 100m sprinter Julie-Ann Schuster reached the semi-final of her event after finishing fourth in heat five with a time of 12.57 seconds while in the U20 100m men category Wilbard Hamukondo qualified for the semi-finals after finishing third in heat three with a time of 11.00 seconds and Walter Geinub also reached the semi-finals with an impressive run of 11.03 seconds despite finishing fourth in heat four.
Athletes who competed in the high jump and middle-distance events found the going tough and failed to win silverware in their respective categories which were finals.
Namibia’s sensational middle-distance runner Nyanyukweni Frans found the going tough from Ethiopians, Ugandans and Kenyans who took up the podium places in the 1500m run as she completed the race out of the top seven.
In an interview with Nampa on Sunday, Erongo Region’s sports officer in Omaruru and a board member of Athletics Namibia, Berthold Karumendu said the level at which Namibian athletes are currently competing at the CAA Youth Championships is very high.
“Some of the athletes found it hard to handle but I am happy that they are now exposed to these competitions which will help them in future,” he said.
He added that the high jump event saw the winner jumping 2.05m and the Namibian athlete could not reach that standard as he was knocked out earlier but the knowledge gained from this event will help him grow into a better athlete.
“I am hopeful that athletes that will compete on Monday and Tuesday will give us podium performances and probably come home with a medal,” Berthold said.
Source: The Namibian Press Agency