The Namibian (Windhoek)

Namibian Athletes Shine in Germany

NAMIBIA'S top athletes rounded off their preparations for the African Athletics Championships in style, when they took Ingolstadt by storm during an exciting International MTV meeting in the German region of Bavaria on Friday night.

All Africa Games double bronze medallist Tjipekapora Herunga was the first to step on the track and she did not disappoint. Herunga dominated the 400m race putting her competitors under pressure from the start and was already in the lead at 200m and kept her composure as she accelerated to win in 53.25.

She finished well ahead of Karoline Pilawa of Germany who came second in 55,98, while Tamara Seer of Germany came third in 56,35.

After the race Herunga said her victory gave her confidence ahead of the African Championships.

"It was great to be racing in my favourite event again and I'm in fine form. My body feels good and I am feeling confident now," she said.

Frank Puriza continued where he left of in Finland by winning the 400m for men in 47,43. Stefan Gorol of Germany came second in 48,31 while Maximilian Frisch of Germany came third in 49,98.

Puriza showed great maturity and good finishing strength to win the race with ease.

The Namibian 100m and 200m champions Hitjivirue Kaanjuka and Globine Majova emulated their compatriots by winning the men and women's 200m titles.

Mayova flew out of the blocks to win the women's 200m in 24,30, with Rebekka Eberle of Germany coming second in 25,33 and Regina Straub third in 25,43.

In the men's 200m, Kaanjuka ran a great bend to enter the home straight first and went on to win the race in 21,27. Philipp Gretz of Germany came second in 22,44 and Stefan Schranner of Germany third in 22,82.

Coach Letu Hamhola said they were well prepared and ready to do well at the African Championships.

"We have now entered the home straight for the year, the athletes have performed well and we are leaving for Benin with confidence as everyone is healthy. We have always said we want to compete in Africa first on the way to the Olympic dream," he said.

"This year we believe the African Championships will be a good competition as the continent's top athletes will be preparing for the Olympics, therefore competition will be of the highest quality. Benin will be good for us in the African sun and we hope the athletes will peak there," Hamhola added.

Hamhola said that after the African Championships, Herunga would compete against the world's top 400m athletes at the IAAF Challenge in Madrid in preparation for the London Olympic Games.

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