A team of 25 Namibian delegates, comprising athletes, coaches, and guides, has travelled to Japan to take part in a qualifying event for the Paris Olympic Games.

The event starts on May 17th and runs until May 25th.

A group of 25 Paralympic athletes left last weekend to compete at the 11th edition of the World Championship, which serves as a qualifying platform for the Paralympics.

Over 1,000 athletes from more than one hundred nations are set to compete in 168 medal events taking place in Kobe, Japan.

Three para-athletes have already qualified for the Paris Para-Olympic competition, which will be hosted after the able bodies compete at the Paris Olympic Games at the end of August.

Lahjia Ishitile, Ananias Shikongo, and Johannes Nambala already qualified last year for the championship in Turkey.

According to coach Letu Hamhola, who is coaching the senior athletes, they need more athletes to qualify for the upcoming Paralympics in Paris.

"When you finish this World Championship, the first two will get a slot. If somebody gets gold or silver, they will get a slot in Paris. That's why this is our chance now to go and attain a slot. Then after, we will wait, like Helalia got a slot for the Olympic Games. It will depend on performance, female slot, and so on, but it is in the hands of IPC. So this is our opportunity. That means it is their opportunity to compete to become the World Champions. Some of them have been before, but most of them are to get more slots for the Para Games. We are working if we cannot get more slots, and we believe that they are ready in that shape for more slots for Para Games," he said.

Hamhola, who on Tuesday joined the team, concluded that in 2020, Namibia sent only three athletes to compete at the Paralympics in Tokyo.

The Paralympic competition will start from August 28th to September 8th in Paris, France.



Hileni Matheus