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Athletics Coach Letu Hamhola said he is pleased with the level of competition at the NSSU national athletics event that concluded in the capital over the weekend.

The two-day event, held at the Independence Stadium, was used to select a track and field athletics team for future international participation.

The NSSU national athletics championships saw athletes in the age groups of under 13 and under 19 from all 14 regions competing against each other for bragging rights.

According to athletics coach Letu Hamhola, despite the Khomas region winning the championship with the most medals, he was excited by the performance of athletes from both Hardap and Kharas regions.

"It was an extremely competitive event. I believe all spectators found it quite entertaining, especially when the young athletes competed in the sprints. The future appears promising, but it all depends on what we do with that skill. I saw a lot of kids, particularly in the under 13-15 and under 17 classes. I was not only interested in the winners, but also in those who had talent but did not perform owing to a lack of instruction in their specialised areas. "I saw a lot of talent scattered throughout Namibia," he stated.

Hamhola also stated that it's high time for Namibia to send a bigger team to compete in international competitions, allowing athletes to be exposed to international events while they are young in their careers.

"We must recognise and guide youth to maximise their potential. When younger kids play athletics and subsequently netball and other sports, we must balance to have our finest athletes compete. Namibia will win champions with our greatest talent. So seeing some go to Kenya and others compete isn't great. All our great athletes must compete to be the best in the nation. Just like last year, the African Juniors lost out on becoming Nationals' school champions, therefore we need to adapt our calendars" Hamhola said.

The selected athletes from the championships will represent the country at the World Junior Championship in September to be held in Peru after the Paris Olympics.

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Hileni Matheus