Namibia ‘satisfied’ with Budapest results

Tomas Rainhold in action. File photo

Athletics Namibia said it was “proud and satisfied” with Alina Armas and Thomas Reinhold’s performances at the recent World Athletics Championships in Hungary.

The two finished a combined 30 minutes behind the women and men’s marathon winners.

Despite running her best time this season, Armas was 49th in the women’s race in Budapest on Saturday, finishing the course in two hours, 40 minutes and 49 seconds.

Ethiopia’s Amane Beriso won the race in 2:24:23, while her compatriot Gotytom Gebreslase secured the silver medal in 2:24:34 and Morocco’s Fatima Gardadi completed the podium with bronze in 2:25:17.

In the men’s race on Sunday, Reinhold ended 54th after running 2:23:36 on another blistering hot day in the Hungarian capital. Victor Kiplangat of Uganda won the gold in 2:08:53, followed by Israel’s Maru Teferi in 2:09:12 Ethiopia’s Leul Gebresilase who took the bronze in 2:09:19.

“We are proud and satisfied that the athletes competed at the recently concluded World Championships and gave it their best and flew the Namibian flag high,” AN said in statement on Wednesday.

“Athletics Namibia’s vision is to support athletes from grassroots to world-class stage and having athletes meet the high qualification standards for the World Championships, and we are satisfied that we now participate in the Championships on merit of the performances of the athletes.”

Namibia’s hopes of getting close to the podium in Budapest were greatly hampered by the absence through injury of the evergreen long distance runner Helalia Johannes as well as teen sprint stars Christine Mboma and Beatrice Masilingi, who remain sidelined by World Athletics over the controversial testosterone stance.

The latter two are forcibly undergoing hormone therapy to reduce their naturally occurring high levels of testosterone in order to be allowed to compete again.

Armas and Reinhold, while game participants, are not elite level athletes which the country has in short supply.

The aforementioned trio will again be Namibia’s best hope for medals if they are available for the African Games, African Athletics Championships and Olympic Games next year.

“We remain positively hopeful that we will have athletes to take part in these competitions and we are setting up the upcoming season to allow the athletes to be ready for these competitions,” Athletics Namibia said.

“This will include local competitions and also regional, continental and international competitions to offer exposure to those that would have qualified and also additional opportunities to those that would have demonstrated potential to qualify and to compete at these three major sporting competition,” the athletics national mother body continued.

“Executing competition and preparatory plans will of course depend on the resources availed. We are engaging with stakeholders to come onboard and support the preparatory initiatives.

“The planned preparatory and qualification activities, will grant opportunities to all Namibian athletes to participate in the planned activities, performances will then be used to rank athletes and the top ranked athletes will then be eligible for support.”

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