Namibian athletes with disabilities showcased their talents at the just-ended World Para Athletics (WPA) 2023 Nottwil Grand Prix in Switzerland, securing a total of 18 podium places.
The final round of the WPA Grand Prix was held at the Sport Arena Nottwil, located at the Schweizer Paraplegic Centre and formed part of the 10th anniversary of the WPA Grand Prix.
On the last day of the competition, T44 athlete Denzel Namene led the way with a gold for Team Namibia in the 100 metre (m) sprint, with a time of 12.23 seconds. Namene was the only athlete in his category and was made to compete in a mixed-race event alongside T46, T11, T36 and T38 sprinters. Based on the Raza scoring system, he walked away with gold.
Another gold medal for Team Namibia on the last day of the championships came from T11 athlete, Ananias Shikongo, guided by Even Tjiuiju. Shikongo won gold in the 100m sprint, while Chris Kinda and his guide Riwaldo Goagoseb settled for a bronze.
Kinda and German sprinter Marcel Boettger crossed the finish line at the same time of 11.43 seconds to take third place. Shikongo ran a seasonal best of 11.32 seconds, while Minyang Kang of China took the second place with a time of 11.39 seconds.
Another T11 sprinter, Immanue Alfredo Bernardo, and his guide Hatago Murere, clocked 11.78 seconds and finished seventh overall.
Nambala won bronze in the 100m with a time of 10.98 seconds, while Norwegian sprinter Ageze Salum Kashafali ran a world record time of 10.45 seconds, but his record could not stand as it was wind aided.
T46 sprinter Bradley Murere won a silver medal after clocking 11.03 seconds. His record, which would have been his personal best, could also not stand as it was also wind aided times. Lithuanian sprinter Danas Sodaitis won the race with a time of 11.02 seconds.
Petrus Karuli a T37 athlete, won a silver medal with a time of 12.67 seconds. Valentin Bertrand of France clocked 12.52 seconds to win gold.
Meanwhile, in the women’s category, Lahja Ishitile and her guide Sem Shimanda won a silver medal with an impressive seasonal best record of 12.40 seconds, while Guohua Zhou of China won the gold with a time of 11.91 seconds.
In the T12 category, Lahja Ipinge and her guide Fillipus Kotokeni Paulus won a bronze medal with a personal best of 13.00 seconds. Dominica Republic sprinter Darlenys Severino de la Cruz took gold with her time of 12.03 seconds.
After three days of competition, Team Namibia won 18 medals – (four gold, 10 silver and four bronze).
The team is expected to return home from their European tour on Monday.
Source: The Namibian Press Agency