15 September 2011

Namibia: Country's Medal Haul Shoots to Five

Photo: Leadership

Maputo — Namibia claimed her second medal at the 10th edition of the quadrennial multi-sports All Africa Games, underway in Maputo, Mozambique.

Sprinter Tjipekapora Herunga won a bronze medal when she finished 3rd in the women's 400-meter final on Tuesday. Botswana's Amantle Montsho came first tailed by Ami Thiam of Senegal in 2nd place.

Herunga ran an astonishing time of 51.8-4 seconds crashing the previous Namibian record of 52.36 seconds in the process, while she also beat the 2012 London Olympic Games qualifying time of 52,00 seconds.

The 23-year-old sprinter beamed from ear to ear after the race as she displayed the Namibian flag to spectators and photographers.

"I was already planning in Namibia that I'd rank in the top three and I did just that. For me, I feel I created history. I am very happy that I could make my country proud," she said, adding she is confident to win a gold medal in future.

"I'm still young and know I can still win the gold medal, my time will come. Amanthle was also struggling like me before she reached the top, so I know I will be there where she is some day."

Meanwhile, hurdler Hardus Maritz qualified for the men's 400m hurdles final when he finished 2nd in his heat and 3rd overall in 51,40 seconds. It was a new personal best time, beating his previous best of 51,67 seconds.

In a dramatic evening on Tuesday, Namibia's medal haul shot up to five, after para-athlete Ananias Shikongo won two medals and Martin Aloysius one, although this still had to be confirmed. Namibia has a total haul of one gold, one silver and three bronze medals so far.

Blind para-athlete Ananias Shikongo set the tone with a bronze medal in the T11 400m after finishing 3rd behind two Angolan athletes in a new Namibian record of 53,07 seconds.

An hour later, there was drama when Shikongo finished a split second behind Jose Armando of Angola in the T11 200m final.

He thought he had won the silver medal but there was some delight in store as Armando was later disqualified after being pulled by his guide, with the result Shikongo won the gold medal in a time of 23,63 seconds.

Octavio dos Santos of Angola was second in 23,77 and Rotawo Olusegun of Nigeria third in 25,77.

In tennis, Namibia's last remaining player in the singles competition, Tuki Jacobs, was eliminated after he lost 6-0, 6-1 to 2nd seeded Sherif Sabry of Egypt.

Johan de Witt, Carita Moolman and Riekie Honiball were earlier all eliminated in the singles competition.

In the women's singles, Riekie Honiball lost 6-2, 6-4 to the 2nd seeded Ons Jabeur of Tunisia. Jabeur, who won the Junior French Open earlier this year, displayed a wide range of shots and also won a lot of points with her deceptive drop shot.

Jacobs and De Witt will play in the men's doubles competition while Moolman and Honiball will play in the women's doubles.

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