Four athletes to represent Namibia at Olympics

WINDHOEK: With only 22 days left before the opening ceremony of the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, the Namibia National Olympic Committee (NNOC) secretary general says this year Namibia will have one of the smallest delegations at the championships.

The 2024 Summer Olympics, an international multi-sport event, will feature athletes competing in 329 events across 32 sports from 26 July to 11 August 2024, in Paris, France, with some competitions starting on 24 July 2024.

Team Namibia will participate in three sports: cycling (road and mountain bike), marathon running, and swimming.

In an interview with Nampa on Thursday, NNOC SG Joan Smit said they had hoped for more athletes to qualify for the global championship but that did not happen.

‘We currently have four athletes qualified to represent the country at the upcoming Olympics. This is a smaller group just like we had in 1992, where only two athletes qualified,’ she said.

Smit added that the NNOC has nine athletes on scholarships but only one qualified, addi
ng that it is always a challenge to get athletes to qualify in the final year of qualification.

‘Our neighbours South Africa and Botswana get assistance over four years. With such help, you can support athletes’ mental preparedness, psychologically, medically and at competitions. This is something our athletes lack, hindering their international competitiveness due to limited funding,’ Smit said.

The secretary general mentioned that following the impressive performance of Christine Mboma and Beatrice Masilingi at the Tokyo Olympics, all athletes were motivated to excel. However, determination alone is not good enough and adequate resources are required.

Smit stated that despite having four athletes in three sporting codes she is confident the athletes will represent the country well. Athletes representing Namibia are Philip Seidler (swimmer), Helalia Johannes (marathon runner), and Alex Miller and Vera Looser (cyclists for mountain bike and road races), respectively.

‘When athletes get to the Olympic Game
s the field is open to everybody. Alex Miller demonstrated to everyone when he won a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games two years ago and Christine (Mboma) proved to everyone at the 2021 Olympics that when you get into the finals it’s open for everyone, therefore I am confident that our athletes will do well and represent the country with pride,’ Smit said.

The cycling team is expected to depart for Paris on 22 July, the swimmer departs on 30 July, and the marathon runner and her coach will travel on 04 August 2024.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency