World Athletics Champs in August

Namibia hopes to have at least five athletes at the world championships this year.

06 January 2017 | Sports

Namibian marathon coach Tobias Hiskia is aiming to help more runners qualify for the 2017 World Athletics Championships to be held in London from 4 to 13 August.

Only three athletes have so far qualified to represent the country at the International Association of Athletics Federations event.

They are Beata Naigambo and Helalia Johannes, who are both trained by Hiskia, and Lavinia Haitope.

Hiskia told Nampa on Tuesday that he knews two or three more athletes could still qualify by the end of March.

“What would even be better is if we get ten athletes qualify from long distance and then track disciplines (100m to 10 000m) despite the competition among track athletes being difficult,” he said.

Athletes have until June to qualify for the championships.

Hiskia, a former marathon runner, added that his plan was to take athletes who had already qualified to Kenya for a three-month training camp, but financial constrains might hamper their preparations. He said most of their competitors were from Kenya.

“At the moment we do not have money to prepare well as everything is coming from our own pockets, but I am hopeful all will go well,” he said.

Recent budget cuts by the government also affected the Sport Ministry, which had to suspend participation in several international competitions. More budget cuts are expected in the next financial year.

Long-distance running athletes coached by Hiskia who have represented the country at the Olympic Games are Naigambo, Johannes, Mynhardt Kauanivi and Alina Armas.

Kauanivi ended 70th in the men's marathon; while Naigambo ended 41st; Johannes 56th and Armas 75th in the women's marathon of the 2016 Olympic Games held in Rio de Janeiro in August last year.


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