Namibian athletes with disabilities won 10 medals on the opening day of the World Para Athletics (WPA) 2023 Jesolo Grand Prix underway in Jesolo, Italy.

The fifth round of the WPA Grand Prix is being held at the Armando Picchi Stadium as Para-athletes celebrate the 10th anniversary of the WPA Grand Prix.

On the opening day of the championship on Friday evening, Namibia’s track and field athletes walked away with 10 medals (five gold, three silver and two bronze) from the 100 metres (m) and 400m events.

The first athlete to win a medal for Team Namibia was T11 female sprinter, Lahja Ishitile, who scooped a gold medal in the 400m sprint with a time of one minute, one second and 17 tenths of a second (01:01.17). Her second gold medal was in the 100m sprint with a time of 12.95 seconds.

Meanwhile, another female sprinter, Lahja Ipinge, who competes in the T12 category, was disqualified in the 400m race, while in the 100m race, she finished fifth with a time of 13.58 seconds. World record holder and Cuban sprinter Omara Elias Durand won the T12 100m race with a time of 12.11 seconds.

In the T11 100m men’s category, Namibian athletes dominated the track after occupying all three podium places. Ananias Shikongo won gold, while Chris Kinda and Alfredo Bernado came second and third respectively.

T13 sprinter, Johannes Nambala, added two more medals to team Namibia’s tally with a gold in the 400m sprint and a silver in the 100m. French sprinter Axel Zorzi took the gold in the 100m with 11.24 seconds while the Namibian was just behind in a photo finish with a time of 11.26 seconds.

The T11 400m category, saw Kinda taking a silver medal with a time of 53.49 seconds, while Shikongo took the bronze with a time of 54.01 seconds. Eduardo Man Novas Uceda of Spain walked away with a gold medal in a time of 53.42 seconds.

Bradley Murere braved the rainy conditions in the 100m sprint. The Namibian sprinter who competes in the T46 category clocked a time of 11.36 seconds to walk away with a gold medal.

Meanwhile, T37 sprinter, Petrus Karuli, had an impressive start to his 400m race but pulled a muscle with 120m to go, which saw him settling for a silver medal. Karuli was disqualified for a false start in the 100m sprint.

Nine athletes and five guides are representing Team Namibia at the championship.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency

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