The eleven athletes of Ohangwena who participated in the NWU Top 30 Championship in Potchefstroom in South Africa on 21 and 22 October put up impressive performances, with some of them registering times making them stand a chance to qualify for upcoming top international competitions.
The NWU Top 30 championship drew thousands of young athletes from hundreds of schools across South Africa and Namibia.
Namibia was represented by Hardap Schools Sport Region, Namibia Private Schools Organisation (NAPSO Athletics), Ohangwena Region, and Pupkewitz Foundation Development Team.
But it was athletes from Ohangwena who excelled in the competition by putting up good performances against their South African peers.
On the first day the young athletes from Ohangwena dominated the 200m race, with 16-year old Saima Immanuel finishing 2nd in the 200m in a time of 26.62 seconds, and 15-year old Wilka Nauyoma also coming in 2nd place in another 200m in a time of 27.88 seconds. In the same 200m race was also 15-year old Ester Petrus who came 4th in a time of 29.2 seconds.
The 14-year old Bonita Esmelda Pena came 3rd in another 200m in a time of 27.97 seconds, with her compatriot 14-year old Sophie Kambonde coming 5th in a time of 29.51 seconds.
The 17-year old Johanna Nghifindwako came 2nd also in the 200m of her race but an error by the starting point officials caused her to run in a wrong lane, so that her result was sent for review by the board of appeal.
In the longer distances, 16-year old Linda Hailulu was 1st in the 800m in a time of 2 minutes 22.8 seconds, while 17 year-old Monika Kandjebo ended in 2nd place in the 3000m in a time of 10 minutes 29.05 seconds. Also in the 3000m was 16-year old Elizabeth Kalola who ended the race in 9th position in a time of 11 minutes 21.7 seconds.
The only male athlete in the squad was 17-year old Simon Shifidi who ended in 7th position in the 800m in a time of 2 minutes 09.7 seconds.
On the second day, Bonita Esmelda Pena finished her 100m race in 1st place in a time of 13.61 seconds, while her compatriot Sophie Kambonde came 6th in a time of 14.04 seconds.
In another 100m Ester Petrus came 2nd in a time of 13.37 seconds.
In the 400m Saima Immanuel finished 1st in a time of 1 minute 12.9 seconds, while Ester Shikongo came second in a different 400m race in a time of 1 minutes 02.73 seconds, and Wilka Nauyoma also came 2nd in another 400m race in a time of 1 minute 2.081 seconds.
In her 400m race Johanna Nghifindwako ended in 4th place in a time of 1 minute 00.25 seconds.
Monika Kandjebo ended in 2nd place in her 1500m race in a time of 5 minutes 04.22 seconds.
Linda Hailulu came 2nd in a different 1500m race in a time of 4 minutes 56.83 seconds, while Elizabeth Kalola came 5th in the same 1500m race in a time of 5 minutes 05.13 seconds.
The only male athlete in the squad, Simon Shifidi, ended 11th in his 1500m race in a time of 4 minutes 31.83 seconds.
“All these athletes, except for one, this was their first time to compete outside of the country,” said coach and marketing manager of the team Mr Moses Teofelus.
“These kids were amazing.
“We would like to thank the following for making this trip a reality: parents, MUMI INVESTMENT MANAGERS, Kongalend Financial Services, The Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service, and Galaxy Hotel Ongwediva.”
In the photo: Ohangwena athletes representing the land of the brave.