Common Wealth gold medalists touch down back home midst celebrations

Namibia’s common wealth gold medalists Jonas Junias Jonas and Helalia Johannes made their touch down back home and received a joyous welcome yesterday at the Hosea Kutako International Airport after three works representing the country’s pride in Australia.

The duo was accompanied by other athletes as well and a high-powered delegation from the sports ministry led by minister Erastus Utoni with members of the defense forces received them. 

Utoni expressed his gratitude on behalf of the government towards all the athletes as well as their coaches, technical team and parents for their unwavering support.

“It was unfortunate that when you left for the games we did not meet but nevertheless I know that you will be coming back. So I decided to come wait and meet (you) on your arrival, that’s why I and everyone are happy here and happy to see all back to the motherland,” said the minister. 

He said the government had committed an amount of N$4 million towards the success of the just ended trip to Australia. 

“I thus (urge) the business community to come on board and support my ministry with its mandate of developing sports in the country,” he urged. 

The success of the gold medalists has shown that the country has potential, the minister pointed out.

“As a ministry we are well aware that your success manly depends on preparations and we know of the poor state that some of our sporting facilities are (in). Thus I can assure you that we are doing our utmost best to address this plight,” he said. 

Namibia debuted in the Common Wealth games in 1994, was in Kuala Lumpur in 1998, in Manchester in 2002, Melbourne in 2006, moved to India in 2010 and in Scotland Glasgow in 2014.

The country’s athletes have collected 20 medals in all these games, five gold, four silver and 11 bronze .

President of Namibia National Olympics Committee, Abner Xoagub said, “We need to mobilise resources to transform the Namibian nation into a sporting nation.”

“We need to do it for ourselves, we can not count on other people. The investment in our children, in our athletes, has paid off,” he said. 

Johannes took time to thank her fans for coming to welcome her, with particular reference to her work mates in the ministry of defense.

“I thank you guys for what you have done. We love you. I just want to thank God, the one who was guiding us through our event when we were participating that side. It was not by my own effort but by the grace of God I made it. Even though (they said that) we are old, Namibia is always sending old people to represent the country. Thank God that I didn’t give up,” she said. 

Jonas also sent his shout out to fans on social media for the motivation.

"This was not a preparation I started seven months back when I qualified for the games, my second common wealth game. This was a preparation from 2014 where I felt that I was totally robbed and whenever I think about it I run into tears but then God has given me the strength and I have done it once again. We are on the move. We are rising,’ said the boxer," he said.