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Local swimmers eye participation at the Paris Paralympic Games in 2024

Local swimmers eye participation at the Paris Paralympic Games in 2024

Four differently abled swimmers participated in the Bank Windhoek Long Course National Swimming Championships, for the first time in the history of Namibian swimming recently.

The Bank said Mateus Angula, Caitlin Botha, Jerome Rooi, and Namasiku van der Linden are the differently abled swimmers who took part in the Championships.

“Under the hashtag #icandoanything, Angula, Botha, Rooi, and Van der Linden finished all their races and broke some of their Personal Best (PB) times as they were cheered on by the other swimmers and supporters,” added the Bank.

They highlighted that Angula broke his PB by 1:00 seconds for the 100-meter freestyle and 2:48 seconds for the 50-meter backstroke and his new PB for these events is now 1:47 and 00:55.69. “Nicknamed Spider-man due to his super agility, Angula is a wheelchair user who was born without legs and he has already represented Namibia at various regional and intentional para-swimming events. Despite the cold water causing muscle spasms, which makes swimming harder for Botha who has Cerebral Palsy (CP), she managed to knock off 1:01 second in the 100-meter breaststroke and her PB for this event is now 4:00:20,” emphasized the Bank.

The Bank further informed that Rooi improved his PBs for the 50-meter freestyle and the 50-meter backstroke knocking off 16:72 and 10:35 seconds respectively and his PBs for these events now stands at 37:39 and 56:61 seconds. “Rooi, who lost his left leg in 2017 only took up competitive swimming last year with great promise. Van der Linden, who was born with Down Syndrome and experiences intellectual developmental delays and physical challenges, improved her times for six out of nine events, with the best improvement of 20:59 seconds in the 200-meter Individual Medley, achieving a PB of 4:46 seconds,” they added.

The Swimmers said they prepared well and enjoyed the Championships, which they used as preparations for international competitions. “Swimming improves our fitness level and takes us to places worldwide,” said Angula. Botha echoed Angula’s sentiments reiterating that she looks forward to international competitions. Van der Lindem said she aims to represent Namibia worldwide with her coaching team’s help. Rooi said the contest was intense, but he trained hard beforehand. The swimmers thanked Bank Windhoek, their coaches, and everyone for allowing them to swim and they encouraged other swimmers and the youth to have faith and be strong in everything they do. Swimming Coach to Botha, Ro, and Van der Linden, Adriaan Martiz confirmed that his swimmers are training five times a week and that he is very proud of their achievements.

The Namibia National Paralympic Committee’s Treasurer, Jean-Paul Schmidt said Namibia stands an excellent chance to be well represented at the Paris Paralympic Games in 2024. “We are thankful to have partners like Bank Windhoek sponsoring this event, which allows the para swimmers to improve their national and international rankings. With the proper financial backing and more sporting platforms, the athletes can go far and compete in the Paris Paralympic Games in 2024,” he added.

Hosted by the Namibia Swimming Federation (NASFED), the Bank Windhoek Long Course National Swimming Championships saw 184 athletes from six clubs and the International Paralympic Committee participating in 1 628 entries with 17 individual and five relay events and was sanctioned by World Para Swimming and supported by the Namibia National Paralympic Committee.


About The Author

Sport Contributor

The Economist does not have a dedicated sport reporter. This designation is used for several contributors who want their sport stories in the Economist. Experience has taught us that companies usually want their sport sponsorships published prominently, being the reason for a sports category. It now also carries general sport items but only those with direct Namibian relevance. - Ed.