Agnes Samaria ready for Commonwealth Games

Agnes Samaria ready for Commonwealth Games

AGNES Samaria has been hard at work over the past two months and is quietly confident of her medal chances at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in March.

“I’ve been training for two months with my coach Lehtu Hamhola and for the last two weeks my other coach Willie Gernemann has assisted me here in Namibia. I’m happy with my progress so far.I feel well-rested and ready to jump start my preparations,” she said.”Mentally, I’m getting stronger although I still have problems with my Achilles injury from last year,” she added.One of the highlights of Samaria’s career came four years ago at the previous Commonwealth Games in Manchester, England, when she won a bronze medal in a superb time of 1:59,15 which is still the national record over 800 metres.She is quietly confident that she can once again make an impact, although she doesn’t want to make any predictions.”I’m excited about the Commonwealth Games and I think that I will be a strong contender for a medal.But I don’t want to make any predictions – I just want to compete and see if I can surprise myself.I know I will be in good shape and I will give it my best shot,” she said.Samaria plans to compete in a few races on the South African athletics from mid-February before the Commonwealth Games start in March.GERNEMANN CONFIDENT Gernemann, a top German coach who has also coached Frank Fredericks in the past, returned to Germany on Monday after assisting Agnes in Windhoek for the past two weeks.He was also happy with her progress.”I think she will be a medal contender.She had a few injuries that she struggled with, but I think we can manage that.We started a bit late and we need another two months to get into top shape.This is a very important period now – the general preparation period and the long-distance training went fine, but now we have to work on Agnes’s special speed,” he said.Gernemann has been assisting some of Namibia’s top athletes for the past decade.He was seconded to Namibia by the German government but left in 1999 to take up a position in Chile.He has now returned to Germany where he is the head coach of Saarland, but Namibia still holds a special place in his heart.He came to Windhoek of his own accord to assist Samaria, while he has also been assisting some of Namibia’s other top athletes with training programmes via e-mail.”I gave Beata Naigambo a programme to help prepare her for the Commonwealth Games.I also assisted Elizabeth Mongudhi before the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, but there she didn’t have any support which eventually cost her a gold medal,” he said.On that occasion, Mongudhi was leading the race comfortably but started suffering from dehydration over the final 10 km.Mongudhi, however, had no one to assist her and slowed down a lot and was overtaken by two athletes.She managed to hang on to win the bronze medal.At this stage only Samaria and Naigambo have qualified for the Commonwealth Games, but the final list of athletes that will represent Namibia still has to be announced.- Namibia SportI’m happy with my progress so far.I feel well-rested and ready to jump start my preparations,” she said.”Mentally, I’m getting stronger although I still have problems with my Achilles injury from last year,” she added.One of the highlights of Samaria’s career came four years ago at the previous Commonwealth Games in Manchester, England, when she won a bronze medal in a superb time of 1:59,15 which is still the national record over 800 metres.She is quietly confident that she can once again make an impact, although she doesn’t want to make any predictions.”I’m excited about the Commonwealth Games and I think that I will be a strong contender for a medal.But I don’t want to make any predictions – I just want to compete and see if I can surprise myself.I know I will be in good shape and I will give it my best shot,” she said.Samaria plans to compete in a few races on the South African athletics from mid-February before the Commonwealth Games start in March.GERNEMANN CONFIDENT Gernemann, a top German coach who has also coached Frank Fredericks in the past, returned to Germany on Monday after assisting Agnes in Windhoek for the past two weeks.He was also happy with her progress.”I think she will be a medal contender.She had a few injuries that she struggled with, but I think we can manage that.We started a bit late and we need another two months to get into top shape.This is a very important period now – the general preparation period and the long-distance training went fine, but now we have to work on Agnes’s special speed,” he said.Gernemann has been assisting some of Namibia’s top athletes for the past decade.He was seconded to Namibia by the German government but left in 1999 to take up a position in Chile.He has now returned to Germany where he is the head coach of Saarland, but Namibia still holds a special place in his heart.He came to Windhoek of his own accord to assist Samaria, while he has also been assisting some of Namibia’s other top athletes with training programmes via e-mail.”I gave Beata Naigambo a programme to help prepare her for the Commonwealth Games.I also assisted Elizabeth Mongudhi before the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, but there she didn’t have any support which eventually cost her a gold medal,” he said.On that occasion, Mongudhi was leading the race comfortably but started suffering from dehydration over the final 10 km.Mongudhi, however, had no one to assist her and slowed down a lot and was overtaken by two athletes.She managed to hang on to win the bronze medal.At this stage only Samaria and Naigambo have qualified for the Commonwealth Games, but the final list of athletes that will represent Namibia still has to be announced.- Namibia Sport

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