Vice President of the Archery Association of Namibia (AAN), Heidi Reddig is hoping for better performances for their Archers participating at the African championships end of this month to get an opportunity to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympics.
Reddig believes Namibian archers stand a strong chance of qualifying for the Olympics. Namibian archers can qualify for the 2016 Olympics taking place in Rio de Janeiro via the Recurve category, in which a three-man team consisting of Xander Reddig, Paul Grobler and Adriaan Grobler partake if they do well in the African Championships which is used as a springboard to the most glamourous sporting event in the world.
“The talent is there. Anything is possible because Xander Reddig qualified for the Youth Olympics in China in 2014. Having gotten that exposure, we have the belief that Namibia can also make it for this year’s Olympics,” Reddig enthused.
Although Namibia will go into the competition well behind South Africa and Egypt as favourites, competing against the likes of them and the other nations Benin, Morocco, Ivory Coast, Libya, Malawi, Mauritius, Tunisia, Zimbabwe and Sudan, Reddig says the competition will do Namibian archers a world of good.
Namibia can also qualify for the World Games in 2017 in the Compound categories, and have a strong claim to do so as Francois Marais is the reigning African champion.
“It will be a tough competition for our archers, but it is very good exposure for them as they get to face some top-class competition,” she noted.
There will be nine local archers in the competition: six male and three female, namely Ilana Malan, Bea Viviers and Elizabeth Taljaard in the Women’s Compound team; Francois Marais, Ben van Wyk and Louw Nel in the Men’s Compound team and Xander Reddig, Paul Grobler and Adriaan Grobler in the Men’s Recurve team.
The competitors qualified by gaining a minimum score through various competitions held last year. The tournament will be held at the DTS Sport Club in Olympia from 28- 31 January.
On the African Archery Championship being hosted by Namibia, Reddig said “It’s very good for us. We will show that we can host tournaments of this calibre, and hopefully it will open doors for us to host more competitions like this in the future.”