Two slots for Namibians at Paralympic Games
07 May 2021 | Sports
In 2019 at the World Para Athletics Championships that were held in Dubai, Team Namibia only managed to secure one slot for the Paralympic Games when the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) allocated slots based on athletes’ performance at those games.
The team however improved their times this year, at the Athletics Namibia Grand Prix and the South African Sports Association for the Physically Disabled championships.
Speaking to Nampa on Thursday, NPC secretary-general Michael Hamukwaya said Namibia currently has two slots for males and one for a female athlete. “This means we have three slots for track events and one for swimming, which we got a while ago and overall the NPC has four slots which are really disappointing compared to our previous competitions where we would have a team of nine or 10 athletes,” he said.
He added that the IPC will still allocate more slots on 6 June 2021 and he is hopeful that Namibia will receive more slots. “It’s very important for athletes to know that our three-year qualification cycle plays a major role when it comes to allocation of slots by the IPC, that is why it’s important for them to be on top of their game at every championship,” Hamukwaya said.
He noted that the NPC could have participated in the Grand Prix which is currently underway in Switzerland in order to get more slots, but was unable to do so due to financial challenges as NamPower is the only company sponsoring the team. “The time has now come for government and the Namibia Sports Commission to financially empower athletes as they start preparing for the 2021 Paralympic Games in Tokyo,” he said.
The athletes that will represent the country at the 2021 Paralympic Games will be announced this week or early next week. – Nampa