Paralympians promise blingBy: SHEEFENI NIKODEMUS
NAMIBIA will get five Paralympic Games gold medals in London. That much is guaranteed, said Men’s T13 category 200 and 400m specialist Martin Aloysius Amutenya yesterday.
Along with Amutenya, Namibia will have Ananias Shikongo (Men’s T11 100m/200m/400m), Johanna Benson (T37 100m/200m/long jump) Reginald Benade (F36 shot put/discus) and Ruben Soroseb (powerlifting) in London.
“We will win five gold medals.The gold will be shining around our necks,” he said.
Amutenya added that they had travelled a long journey to get to the global spectacle and were determined to make a positive impression.
The London Paralympic Games, which run from August 29 to September 9, will mark a first appearance at the event for Namibia’s disabled athletes.
“For many years we’ve been fighting to go to the Olympics. For some of us, we have been preparing for this since 2006. We need to qualify at three different events, unlike the able-bodied athletes. But we are there now and we will go there to do our best for our country.”
Namibia warmed up for the Paralympics by winning 12 gold, four silver and three bronze medals, and setting two African and six South African Championship records, at the recent South African Disabled Championships.
Yesterday, NamPower sponsored the athletes donating N$700 000 towards their Paralympic Games campaign.
“A proud and grateful nation is just waiting for the moment we get to see you shine and we are putting our support behind you,” said NamPower’s managing director Paulinus Shilamba.
He added that the athletes have shown great resilience and passion which has allowed them to excel in their chosen sports.
“Participation in the Olympic and Paralympic Games is the aspiration of any athlete of any country. Congratulations on your successful selection,” Shilamba said.