National Swimming Champs postponed again 

Ariana Naukosho in action. File photo

Namibia’s national swimming championships, which were due to start today,  have been postponed yet again due to the funeral of former president Hage Geingob this weekend.

The national championships, which is normally held over four days, was originally supposed to take place this coming weekend from Thursday, 22 February to Sunday, 25 February. 

With the announcement of Geingob’s burial this coming weekend, the Namibia Swimming Federation (Nasfed) tried to reschedule their programme so that it would not clash with the funeral, but their new programme was not approved by governmental authorities. 

According to Nasfed’s revised programme the nationals were due to start a day earlier, at 13h00 today, continuing through to 19h00. 

The same time schedule was proposed for tomorrow, while Friday would have seen a long session from 07h00 to 18h00. 

Saturday and Sunday’s action was cancelled, while the final day of the nationals was shifted to next Monday, which would have seen another long session from 07h00 to 18h00. 

This revised programme, however, did not meet the approval of governmental authorities with the result that the championships have now been postponed indefinitely to a date still to be determined. 

The secretary general of Nasfed, Agatha Mason confirmed the news yesterday, saying she did not know when it will now take place.

“We sent our revised programme to them but they rejected it, saying that there are some important visitors coming for the funeral and that we could not hold the nationals at all this weekend due to security reasons,” she said. 

“The Nasfed excom will now hold a meeting on Friday to try and find a new date for the championships, but at this stage I don’t know when that will be,”she added. 

According to Mason the swimming calendar is already very full and further delays in the staging of the national championships will prevent Namibia’s top swimmers from qualifying for the South African Senior National Championships in April.

“I doubt that we will be able to fit it in in March, while April will be too late to qualify for the SA nationals,” she said. 

Some of the international events coming up in March where Namibia’s top swimmers will compete include the African Games in Accra, Ghana, from 8 to 23 March; the SA National Junior Championships in Durban from 15 to 19 March, the SA Level 3 Age Group Championships in Bloemfontein from 21 to 24 March, and the SA Level 2 Age Group Championships in Durban from 5 to 7 April. The SA National Aquatic Championships will be held in Gqeberha from 8 to 13 April. 

The African Games in Accra next month serve as a qualifying event for the Paris Olympic Games and according to Mason, Nasfed already selected a strong team of eight swimmers in December. 

The team consists of Xander Skinner, Ronan Wantenaar, Jose Canjulo, Oliver Durand, Mollina Smalley, Trisha Mutumbulwa, Jessica Humphreys and Reza Westerduin. 

Namibian teams have also been selected for the SA Level 2 Championships (five swimmers), the SA Level 3 Championships (18 swimmers) and the SA National Junior Championships (11 swimmers). 

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