Namibian athletes and their management team arrived in Italy on Monday night for the fourth round of the World Para Athletics (WPA) Grand Prix that will be held in the city of Jesolo, Italy.
The fourth round of the WPA Grand Prix will be held from 12 to 14 May 2023 at the Armando Picchi Stadium.
From February to May this year, four cities around the world welcomed Para-athletes as they celebrated the 10th anniversary of the WPA Grand Prix. At the fifth Grand Prix of the year, Team Namibia will be represented by nine athletes and five guides over the three days of competition.
Speaking to Nampa on Tuesday, the team’s Chef de Mission for the games Jean-Paul Schmidt who is the treasurer for the Namibia Paralympic Committee (NPC), said coming to Europe is meant to prepare athletes well ahead of the World Championships.
“As a body that wants to grow, we are happy to see all our athletes ranked in the top 10 in their respective categories made the trip. Our goal is to compete with the best in the world and improve the number of slot allocations to us as a country ahead of the 2024 Paris Paralympic Games,” he said.
Schmidt added that the NPC hopes for all its athletes to be at their best during the 2023 International Paralympic Committee World Athletics Championships in France.
“The team has arrived in Italy but there are still small logistics that we are dealing with back at home. I am hopeful that come competition day everything would have been sorted out and our athletes will be winning silverware for us in Italy before we proceed to Notwil, Switzerland for our last Grand Prix before the World Champs,” Schmidt said.
Namibian athletes who travelled with the team are T11 male sprinters, Ananias Shikongo, Kinda Chris, and Alfredo Bernado, T11 female sprinter Lahja Ishitile, and T12 sprinter Lahja Ipinge, T13 sprinter Johannes Nambala, T47 sprinter Bradley Murere, T37 sprinter Petrus Karuli, and T64 sprinter Denzel Namene.
The athletes are accompanied by guides Even Tjiuiju, Hatango Murere, Kelvin Goagoseb, Philipus Paulus and Sem Shimanda.
The management team consists of Schmidt, team manager Michael Hamukwaya, Ruan Mocke (physiotherapist), Letu Hamhola (head coach) and Naomi Schmidt (assistant coach).
Source: The Namibia Press Agency