Namibian Tjipekapora Herunga continued her good form when she won the 400m race in the Internationales Abendsportfest in Rhede, Germany recently.
Herunga ran a strong race and crossed the line with a time of 53.13 to finish ahead of Magi Maris from Estonia who had a time of 53.43. She was followed by Larissa Kettenis from Germany who crossed the line with a time of 54.11.
Sprinter Hitjiverue Kaanjuka finished his 100m race in seventh place with a time of 10.78.
The race was won by Ryan Shields from Jamica who had a time of 10.28, South African Hannes Dreyer (10.35) was second and American Deun White (10.40) finished third.
Kaanjuka finished third in his 200m heat in a time of 21.32.
Globine Mayova ended sixth in her 100m and had to withdraw from the 200m due to a muscle strain.
Middle distance runner Daniel Nghipandulwa did not compete as he is nursing a tight hamstring. He is said to be reacting well to treatment from team physiotherapist Benny Obermuller from Austria.
Coach Letu Hamhola said Herunga was very happy with her performance.
“Tjipekapora is very happy to have won her first 400m on European soil and will now look to improve on certain aspects of her race that she believes will lead to an improvement in her races and times,” Hamhola said.
“The team management is happy about the overall performances of the athletes as it has been a difficult week traveling to and from Mozambique,” he added.
Herunga was Namibia’s only gold medalist at the CAA Southern Africa Senior Championships in Maputo last week.
“We were not sure how the athletes would react but they went out and competed well, therefore we just have to work harder and the times will surely improve.”
“However all of them currently have small strains and team masseur is working around the clock to get them fit for the next race. We must say we are blessed to have such an experienced person as Benny traveling with us as he does a magical job with our athletes,” Hamhola continued.
The physiotherapist has treated top athletes such as Frankie Fredericks, Agnes Samaria, Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell, Kerron Stewart and Roger Federer.
“That’s why we are sure they will be ready for the next races especially Bottrop on the 15th were we expect to see the athletes clocking better times,” Hamhola said.
“We however just have to monitor the fitness of Daniel closely as we will not rush him back into competitions too soon.”