Para-athletes win more silver

Ananias Shikongo in action with his guide Sem Shimanda. Photo: contributed

Namibia’s para-athletes have been in fine form at the World Para Athletics Championships currently underway in Paris and by last night had won three silver medals at the event which also serves as a qualifier for the 2024 Paris Paralympic Games.

On Saturday, Johannes Nambala and Ananias Shikongo both won silver medals to add to Namibia’s medal tally.

Four days earlier, on the 11th of July, Lahja Ishitile won Namibia’s first medal when she came second in the women’s T11 400m final in a new African record time of 57,18 seconds. 

On Saturday, the 15th of July, Nambala lined up for the men’s T13 400m final and narrowly missed out on the gold medal after being pipped to the line by Ryota Fukunaga of Japan.

Fukunaga won the gold medal in a new Asian record time of 47,49 seconds, while Nambala claimed the silver medal in a season’s best time of 48,14 seconds, with Buinder Bermudez of Colombia winning the bronze medal in 49,21 seconds. 

In the semifinals the previous day, Nambala also finished second behind Fukunaga in 48,92 seconds to qualify for the final.

Less than an hour after Nambala won his medal, Shikongo also excelled to win a silver medal in the men’s T11 100m final. 

Athanasios Ghavelas of Greece won the gold medal in a new championship record time of 10,93 seconds, which was just outside his world record of 10,82 seconds which he established at the Tokyo Paralympic Games in 2021. 

Shikongo claimed the silver medal after finishing second in a personal best, as well as a new African record time of 11,11 seconds, while Timothee Adolphe of France won the bronze medal in 11,12 seconds. 

Shikongo showed a steady improvement in the 100m, after setting his best times of the season in the first round heats and the semifinals. 

In his first round heat on 14 July, Shikongo came second in 11,36 seconds, while he once again came second behind Ghavelas in the semifinals in a time of 11,20 seconds.

Chris Kinda also represented Namibiain the men’s T11 100m, and qualified for the semifinals, after coming second in his first round heat in 11,76 seconds. He, however, failed to qualify for the final after coming fourth in his semifinal heat in 11,46 seconds. 

Ishitile, meanwhile, had a chance of winning another medal after qualifying for the women’s T11200m final. 

On Saturday, 15 July, she came second in her first round heat in a season’s best time of 25,92 and once again lowered that mark when she came third in her semifinal heat in 25,78 seconds. In the final last night she one again improved her time but could not win a medal as she finished fourth in 25,62 seconds.

Lahja Ipinge, meanwhile, progressed to the semifinals of the women’s T12 200m after coming second in her first round heat in a season’s best time of 26,65 seconds on Sunday. 

She, however, failed to reach the final after coming fourth in her semifinal in 27,19 seconds yesterday. 

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