Five of Namibia’s top athletes left for Jamaica yesterday as part of a long- term training program aimed at improving Namibia’s chances of winning medals at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
Under the program, the Namibian athletes will train with Jamaican superstars like Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake and Asafa Powell, while they will also study sport management and journalism at the University of Technology of Jamaica.
The plan forms part of the Vision 2016 Athletics program, implemented several years ago by the Ministry of Sport, which has seen Namibia’s top athletes training and competing in South Africa and Europe in recent years.
The athletes who will participate in the program are Namibia’s male and female sprint champions Hitjiverue Kaanjuka and Globine Mayova, female hurdles champion Lelanie Klaasman, 400-meter female champion Tjipekapora Herunga and male sprinter Dantago Gurirab.
The team will be accompanied by Namibian athletics coach Letu Hamhola.
The Namibia Sport Commission held a farewell event for the athletes on Friday, where Director of Sport Dr Vetumbuavi Veii urged the athletes to do well, saying the pressure would be on them to perform in 2016.
“The pressure will now be on you to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games. We want you to qualify and will be sending you to Jamaica for three years and we will carry the costs. This is taxpayers’ money, so the nation wants to see results,” he said.
The function was attended by Earle Taylor , professor of the International University of Management, who played a major role in organizing the program. The Jamaican professor said the athletes will be given every opportunity to succeed.
“You will be going to Jamaica’s premium university – the University of Technology of Jamaica, which specializes in sport management. You will join world leaders who have excelled and you will train with people like Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake and Asafa Powell. You will learn their training techniques while sport journalism will be an important component of the course,” he said…
Read more: The Namibian