Diekmann confident to qualify for Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Diekmann confident to qualify for Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Namibian rower Maike Diekmann is currently in Tunisia, preparing for the African Olympic Qualification Regatta, which starts on Thursday.
NBC sports desk caught up with Diekmann prior to her departure to North Africa and compiled this report.
After she failed to qualify for the Rio Olympics in 2016, Maike Diekmann remained focussed on her rowing career and has been training in South Africa ever since.
She made remarkable progress and two years ago she won a silver medal at the African championships, which were held in Tunisia.
Just a year later, in 2018, she joined the Tuks Rowing Club, where she saw an opportunity to improve her technical skills and more adequately prepare for the African Olympic Qualification Regatta.
"I think my chances are pretty good. I'm very confident. I've had very good training this year. I have a new coach, he is amazing he has been helping me a lot on the technical side so my speed has gone up and it's much faster and I'm rowing a much better technical stroke. Thanks to him. I'm going there with the goal to win the African qualifier" Diekmann said.
In the process, the 24-year old Diekmann has also acquired a scholarship from the Namibia National Olympic Committe through its solidarity programme.
She is now a full time rower with the aim to qualify as the first Namibian in the rowing category of the Olympic games in Tokyo.
"I'm not working, so I'm focussing on hundred percent on my training, I train twice sometimes three times a day around twenty-four hours a week and I do around hundred and eighty to two hundred kilometres, it's a full time job so I won't be able to do this without the support from the IOC, through the Olympic Solidarity program and of course my family" she said.
Nineteen countries will be taking part in the event in Tunisia as racing starts on Thursday at the African games.