Herunga wins bronze for Namibia in Maputo

Submitted by Namibia Sport on 14 September 2011 - 12:52am

Tjipekapora Herunga won Namibia's second medal at the All Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique on Tuesday evening when she came third in the women's 400m final.

The race was won by Daegu 2011 World Champion Amantle Montsho of Botswana, with Amy Mbacke Thiam of Senegal second. Tjipekapora came third, just behind Thiam in a new Namibian record time of 51.84 seconds.

Her time beat her previous record time of 52.36 seconds, while she also beat the London 2012 Olympic Games qualifying time of 52.00 seconds.

Herunga beamed from ear to ear after the race as she displayed the Namibian flag to spectators and photographers.

"I was already planning in Namibia that I'd rank in the top three and I did that. For me I feel that I created history. I am very happy that I could make my country proud," she said.

The 23-year-old Herunga said she was confident that she could win gold in the future.

"Im still young and I know I can still win the gold medal, my time will come. Amanthle was also struggling like me before she reached the top, so I know I will be there where she is some day," she said.

"I'd like to thank my coach Letu, who has always been there for me and I'd like to thank our medic Donatha Gawanas who is always there to help when my body is paining.

"I also want to thank the Ministry of Youth and Culture for their Vision 2016 programme. If it was not for that programme I would not be here. And finally thanks to all the Namibians for their support," she said.

Hardus Maritz meanwhile qualified for the men's 400m hurdles final when he came second in his heat and third overall in 51.40 seconds. It was a new personal best time, beating his previous best of 51.67 seconds.