Swimming season to end with a bang 

Jessica Humphrey in action. File photo

An excellent Namibian swimming season reaches its climax this weekend when the Bank Windhoek Nasfed Namibian National Long Course Swimming Championships take place at the Olympia Municipal Pool in Windhoek. 

Namibia’s top swimmers have recently put their country on the map with some impressive performances at various international events and with a host of talented juniors pushing through the ranks, some exciting contests can be expected at the nationals which kick off this afternoon and continue till Sunday. 

At the recent African Games in Accra, Ghana, half of Namibia’s 10 medals were won by swimmers. Ronan Wantenaar led the way, winning Namibia’s only gold medal in the men’s 100m breaststroke, while he also won a silver medal in the 200m breaststroke, and narrowly lost out on two more medals after coming fourth in both the 50m breaststroke and 200m individual medley.

Xander Skinner won two medals – a silver in the men’s 100m freestyle and a bronze in the 50m freestyle, setting new national records in both events, while Jessica Humphrey won a bronze medal in the women’s 200m backstroke. Humphrey also qualified for the 50m and 100m backstroke finals, coming sixth in both events.

Besides the medallists, several other upcoming swimmers delivered fine performances in Accra. The 16-year-old Oliver Durand narrowly missed out on a medal after coming fourth in the men’s 400m individual medley final, while he also reached the 200m butterfly final where he came fifth; the 200m backstroke final where he came eighth; and the 200m individual medley final where he came seventh. 

Reza Westerduin reached three finals, coming fourth in the 1 500m freestyle, fifth in the 800m freestyle and eighth in the 200m backstroke final.

Mollina Smalley qualified for three finals, finishing fifth in the 400m freestyle,  sixth in the 400m individual medley, and sixth in the 200m individual medley.

Jose Canjulo reached the 100m breaststroke final where he came eighth. 

In the mixed 100m freestyle relay Namibia’s team of Skinner, Durand, Smalley and Humphrey qualified for the final after winning their heat, but they missed out on a medal after finishing fifth in the final.

The Namibian men’s team of Wantenaar, Skinner, Durand and Canjulo reached the men’s 4x100m freestyle final where they finished fifth, while Namibia’s female team of Smalley, Westerduin, Humphrey and Trisha Mutumbulua finished fifth in the 4x100m medley relay final.

Namibia’s top junior swimmers also made their mark at the South Africa National Junior Championships in KwaZulu-Natal from 15 to 19 March, winning one gold, seven silver and one bronze medal.

Lorenzo Esterhuizen led the way with one gold and three silver medals in the boys 12 to 14 year category. He won a gold medal in the 200m butterfly, and silver medals in the 200m and 400m individual medleys, as well as the 200m backstroke.

Rodney Feris won two silver and one bronze medal in the boys 13 year old category. His silver medals came in the 100m freestyle and 50m butterfly, while the bronze came in the 200m freestyle event. 

Oliver Durand, who flew down to the SA Junior Nationals immediately after completing his events at the Africa Games, won two silver medals in the Boys 16 year 200m and 400m individual medleys.

Durand also set a new Namibian 15-16 year 100m butterfly record of 57,80 seconds, breaking Jose Canjulo’s previos mark of 58,03, while Madison Bergh broke the Namibian 13-14 year-old girls record of 19:02,16 with a time of 18:54,76. 

Not to be outdone, an upcoming junior Namibian team excelled at the SA Level 3 Regional Age Group Championships in Bloemfontein from 21 to 24 March, finishing second overall out of 30 teams, while winning 22 gold, 27 silver and 25 bronze medals.

A total of 170 swimmers from clubs throughout Namibia will be in action at the national championships, with Dolphins Swimming Club once again the favourites to win the club title, although Aqua Swimming and Fitness Academy has been improving a lot lately and could provide some stiff competition. 

The action starts at 15h30 this afternoon and continues at 14h00 tomorrow, 08h00 on Saturday and 08h30 on Sunday. 

Stay informed with The Namibian – your source for credible journalism. Get in-depth reporting and opinions for only N$85 a month. Invest in journalism, invest in democracy –
Subscribe Now!

Latest News