Namibia well-prepared for Rio Olympics

By: DAVID LYIMO

With only 15 days to go until the world’s biggest sport event kicks off in Brazil, the local Olympic team will say farewell to the Namibian public on Saturday at nine o’clock at Maerua Mall.

The ten athletes who have been confirmed to travel to Rio are boxers Junias Jonas and Matias Hamunyela; cyclists Dan Craven, Vera Adrian and Michele Voster; shooter Gaby Ahrens and marathon runners Helalia Johannes, Beata Naigambo , Alina Armas and Mynhardt Kauanivi.

The head of the delegation, advocate Jesse Schickerling, is confident that Namibia is ready for the Rio Olympics and has no doubt that all athletes are well-prepared to be at their competitive best.

“Preparations already began four years ago, including the Chef de Mission’s seminar last year in August when things really got underway” he said.

With regard to the team officials, Schickerling mentioned that each athlete has chosen their own supporting staff and that all of them will be accompanied by a psychologist and physiotherapist whom they have worked closely with in the build-up to the games.

As concerns over Russia’s doping controversy and the Zika virus continue to dominate Olympic headlines, Schickerling assured Namibians that all athletes had gone through the necessary drug testing procedures and that their health would not be compromised.

“Namibian athletes are clean. They’ve all been properly tested for any prohibited substance and the team complies with the philosophy of any clean athlete of the Olympic games. All pre-cautions have been taken and all athletes have been advised to take along mosquito repellents and wear long sleeved clothing at all times” he reiterated.

“Venues are controlled constantly and there is no real danger of the Zika virus in the venues as such” he added.

The majority of the team will leave on the 29th of July, with the remainder joining them in Rio on the 4th of August.