Team Namibia collects 13 medals in Jesolo

Eight Namibian athletes and their guides won 13 medals after three days of competition at the World Para Athletics (WPA) 2023 Jesolo Grand Prix in Jesolo, Italy.

Round five of the WPA Grand Prix saw over 500 athletes with a disability challenging each other for top honours at the Armando Picchi Stadium as Para-athletes celebrate the 10th anniversary of the WPA Grand Prix.

On Sunday, Namibian athletes who competed in the 200m events added three more medals to their tally of 10 medals which they won in the track and field events. The 13 medals are seven gold, four silver and two bronze.

On Sunday, T11 male sprinter Ananias Shikongo led the way by winning the team’s first gold medal in the 200m with a time of 23.98 seconds. Alessandro Cannata and Gabriele Pirola of Italy finished second and third respectively.

Namibia’s second gold on the day came from T11 female sprinter Lahja Ishitile who clocked a time of 27.13 seconds to overcome Alba Falagan Garcia of Spain. Garcia was behind with a time of 27.76 seconds, and Delya Boulaghlem of France took the last podium place with a time of 28.80 seconds.

T37 sprinter Petrus Karuli won the country’s last medals at this championship. Karuli finished second in a photo finish alongside Thamer Alzahrani of Saudi Arabia, who clocked 26.24 seconds in the 200m. Karuli came second with a time of 26.65 seconds.

T46 athlete Bradley Murere, who on Friday won a gold medal in the 100m sprint, this time around missed out on a medal in the long jump category. He finished fourth behind Robiel Yankiel Sol Cervantes of Cuba, Hajimu Ashida of Japan and Abdulrhm Mahmoud Shabib of Egypt.

Sol Cervantes of Cuba won the event with a world-record jump of 7.69m. The Cuban athlete broke the 7.58m record set by Arnaud Assoumani of France in Christchurch, New Zealand in 2011. Murere jumped 5.93m to finish fourth.

Meanwhile, sprinter Lahja Ipinge who competes in the T12 category also missed out on a podium place after finishing fourth in the 200m sprint with a time of 27.75 seconds. World record holder and Cuban sprinter Omara Elias Durand won the T12 200m race in a time of 24.15 seconds.

Denzel Namene, the ninth athlete for Team Namibia on this tour, did not compete at the Jesolo Grand Prix - he is expected to be on the track at the Notwill Grand Prix in Switzerland next week.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency