Namibia’s wrestlers achieved their best results at the South African Wrestling Championships in recent years, winning a total of 14 medals consisting of seven gold, four silver and three bronze medals.
On April 27, a Namibian team of 10 wrestlers won six gold, one silver and one bronze medal at the SA Youth Championships in Cape Town.
Ingo Hokwana, Jason Afrikaner and Lukas Thomas won gold medals in the Junior category; Colin Tjikungu won gold in the U15 category; and Romeo Goliath and Marcelino Jaars won gold medals in the Under 13 category.
Efraim Thomas won a silver medal in the Under 15 category and Herman Namwandi won a bronze medal in the Junior category.
On Saturday, April 28 a Namibian team of nine wrestlers won one gold, three silver and two bronze medals at the SA Greco Roman Cadet and Senior Championships in Cape Town.
In the Cadet category, Michael Thomas won a gold medal, while Prinsley Swartz won a silver medal and Dawid Henning a bronze medal.
In the Senior category, Ingo Hokwana and Herman Namwandi both won silver medals while Lukas Thomas won a bronze medal.
The president of the Namibian Wrestling Federation Dawie Augustyn said it was an exceptional achievement.
“The Namibian team of 19 wrestlers won a total of 14 medals which is an exceptional achievement. This performance is much better than the previous years, mainly because we managed to send a strong team from the After School Wrestling Centre. This group of wrestlers can still go far, if they receive the necessary support,” he said.
“There is some exciting young talent and a wrestler like Romeo Goliath can still reach the same heights as Jason Afrikaner,” he said.
Augustyn meanwhile left with a three-man Namibian team to compete in an Olympic qualifying event in Finland.
Jason Afrikaner and Ingo Hokwana will compete in the Greco Roman category while Angula Shikongo will compete in the Freestyle category.
Sem Shilimela has already qualified for the Olympic Games in the freestyle category and Augustyn was hopeful that more Namibians could qualify.
“Anything can happen in Finland. The draw will play a big role, while only the gold and silver medallists will qualify for the Olympic Games. Angula Shikongo has received top class training in Senegal for the past two years so he will stand a good chance, while Jason Afrikaner is capable of beating anyone on his day,” he said.
Augustyn also praised the contribution of the After School Centre’s Cuban coach Luis Forecelledo Paz, who will coach the team.
“Paz is a Greco Roman expert and he has made a big contribution both to our national wrestlers and at the After School Centre where he coaches,” he said.