Award-winning national coach, Letu Hamhola, said he is happy with Namibia’s Paralympic athletes’ achievements at the recently concluded World Para Athletic Championships in Paris, France, but more still needs to be done.
Hamhola, a senior sports officer at the Ministry of Sport Youth and National Service and the coach of paralympians Ananias Shikongo, Johannes Nambala and Lahja Ishitile, guided his athletes to three silver medals in Paris and saw Namibia finishing 43rd from the 168 countries that competed at the championships.
The coach recently told Nampa that every country or coach has goals and targets set for the world championships, therefore winning medals is always a good achievement, but his goal is to see the Namibian Paralympic Committee getting more slots at the 2024 Paralympic Games.
“There are always pros and challenges when preparing for bigger competitions. This year we had a 17-year-old (Lahja Ipinge), who started her journey while other athletes competed at the 2019 World Champs held in Dubai, but are they ready to compete in Paris 2024?” he asked.
Hamhola added that this year Namibian athletes had seven personal bests and five African records broken, but what is still missing is hearing the Namibian national anthem in the stadium, which occurs when athletes win gold medals.
“We have not heard our national anthem in an international stadium in a long time. This gives us a chance to see if we can still work towards improving that. We should be working towards improving the slots for the 2024 Paralympic Games. The current slots come from the same athletes who got the slots for the 2021 Tokyo Paralympic Games,” Hamhola said.
The coach said for Namibia to be on top of the world, a lot of hard work is needed, and that does not come without planning.
“Most of our athletes did not reach the finals, and our target was to have most athletes compete in the final. It’s important to work well with the technical team as they are the technician of this whole process. I hope those in the boardrooms can respect the coaches’ decisions in the future so that we can use every opportunity to prepare well for competitions,” he added.
Source: The Namibian Press Agency