Team Namibia Readies for European Tour

The Namibia Paralympic Committee (NPC) is hard at work as it has set its sight on taking a bigger group of athletes to the 2023 World Para Athletics Championships slated for Paris, France in July.

A group of nine athletes and five guides will travel to Italy and Switzerland to compete at the 2023 Jesolo Grand Prix and the 2023 Nottwil Grand Prix in the month of May.

According to Michael Hamukwaya, NPC secretary-general and Team Manager for the European Tour, on Saturday, the committee is taking athletes on a European Tour as part of its preparation for the upcoming International Paralympic Committee (IPC), World Para Athletics Championships.

“After the Para Games in 2021, we selected a team of athletes at our National Championships held in Oshakati in 2022 and a number of those selected athletes competed at the Marrakech Grand Prix in Morocco, where the team was trimmed to this number that will be touring Europe,” he said.

Hamukwaya added that for its pathway to the 2024 Paris Paralympic Games, they assembled a group of elite athletes who ranked in the top 10 rankings of the IPC in their different categories.

“These athletes should challenge themselves again the best in the world. Our goal at the world champs is to fight for podium positions and get more slots allocated to the NPC for the 2024 Paris Paralympic Games,” said Hamukwaya.

The NPC secretary-general added that as a federation they want to improve from the three slots they had at the 2020 Tokyo, Paralympic Games to six slots in athletics and at least one in swimming at the 2024 Paris Paralympic Games.

At the World Athletics Championships held in Dubai in 2019, Namibia ended up having one slot for the Tokyo, Paralympic Games and after competing at some Grand Prix locally, the athletes improved their ranking and were awarded two more slots at the Paralympic Games.

Team Namibia departs for Jesolo, Italy on 07 May 2023 from Pretoria, South Africa, where it has been in camp. From Italy, the team will travel to Nottwil, Switzerland on 22 May, before returning to Namibia on 29 May 2023.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency