None of Namibia’s four wrestlers who recently competed at an Olympic Games qualifying event in Finland managed to qualify for the London Olympics.
More than 500 wrestlers from 78 nations competed at the tournament which featured some of the world’s best wrestlers.
The president of the Namibia Wrestling Federation Dawie Augustyn said that the competition was very tough and despite the fact that none of Namibia’s wrestlers managed to qualify, they gained a lot of experience.
“It didn’t go very well in Finland as none of our wrestlers managed to qualify, but they gained a lot of experience. The competition was very tough and four former Olympic Games champions could also not qualify,” he said.
All four of Namibia’s wrestlers lost their first round bouts.
Angula Shikongo had the toughest draw, coming up against Takao Isokawa of Japan in the Freestyle Under 96kg category in the first round. Isokawa won the bout and went on to win the silver medal, while Shikongo eventually finished 21st overall.
Ingo Hokwana lost to Victor Ciobanu of Moldovia in the Greco Roman Under 55kg category and eventually finished 14th overall in the category.
Jason Afrikaner finished 24th overall in the Greco Roman 60kg category after losing to Dariusz Kwit of Poland, who finished 10th overall.
Lukas Thomas finished 30th overall in the Greco Roman Under 66kg category after losing to Frunze Harutyunyan, who came fifth overall.
Sem Shilimela is therefore the only Namibian wrestler who will be competing at the London Olympic Games. Shilimela qualified after winning a silver medal in the Freestyle Under 55kg category at the Africa and Oceania Olympic Games Qualifying tournament in Marrakesh, Morocco in March.
Augustyn said Shilimela has continued training at the High Performance Wrestling Centre in Dakar, Senegal and that he would soon commence with a preparation programme for the Olympics in conjunction with the International Wrestling Federation.