RUBEN //Gowaseb is a national hero and inspiration who should be exalted as such, Namibia Sports Commission chairperson Joel Matheus said after the veteran road runner won gold at the ongoing Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on Saturday.
The effervescent 40 year-old clocked 1 hour 46 minutes and 33 seconds to ensure that his reign as men's half-marathon king extends to another four years. It was a repeat of his heroics at the 2015 edition in the USA, where he also bagged gold.
The evergreen //Gowaseb "is very excited, feeling super good and can't wait to get home", assistant head of delegation Wahl Abrahams told The Namibian Sport on Sunday.
His victory has teammates, who are all part of a mixed basketball assemble, dreaming of similar success.
Also in Abu Dhabi flying the Namibian flag are Liina Uusiku, Irene Tjeenao, Sara Shivute, Madawa Nasisa, Nganda Tjakuva, Pepetua Kambueza, Munouua Hatia and Hilton Swartbooi.
The mixed team won three of out of their four matches, with one loss to qualify for the medal rounds which take place tomorrow.
Head of delegation Cliff Olivier and coach Cornelius Shimbuli complete the Namibian team.
"This is indeed a blessed achievement. The entire team is in high spirits. The athletes are highly motivated and energetic, and are giving their very best," Abrahams said.
The team is scheduled to return home on Friday at 13h00. The multi-sport event for athletes with intellectual disabilities in the tradition of the Special Olympics movement started on 14 March, and concludes on Friday.
In total, 170 countries and 7 000 athletes are represented in Abu Dhabi.
"We are very proud of what he [Ruben] has achieved for the country. His achievement created more visibility for our country on the international stage, and as a nation, we should celebrate this with great excitement and joy. Well done and congratulations Ruben," Matheus said.