In preparation for the world championship due to take in London in August, Namibian long distance marathon runners will be camping in Kenya for six months.
Beata Naigambo, Hilaria Johannes and Lavinia Haitope will departure for Kenya next month where they will be training with their mentor Tobias Hiskia.
The trio has qualified for the event so far, but more are expected to secure their spot by the end of March thereby increasing the country’s chances of getting more medals.
Hiskia said he wants a balanced team that will consist of six males and six females to compete in different categories.
Mynhardt Kawanivi is one of the athletes expected to qualify for the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) from 4 until 13 August 2017 in London.
Hiskia is adamant to excel with his athletes in London, but that can only happen if they prepare well and the right place to train is Kenya.
Kenya and Ethiopia are the only two countries in Africa with a reputation of producing world class marathon runners over the years.
Hiskia indicated that they don’t have financial support but would welcome any offer on the table as they have fork out the bills themselves.
“Kenya is a better place for us to train as it is calm and cheap, I trained there since my running days and I know what they can offer. In fact, I have friends there who can help us with training and all the techniques,” said Hiskia.
He further said: “Good preparations will also have to do with the kind of food the athlete eats; in Kenya they have the right food for athletes which can keep them in good sharp. Not like here where they feed on macaroni and a lot of junkie foods then they pick up weight instead of losing it.”
Hiskia believes the training in Kenya will help them learn how things are done, because the same people will be compete against them.
He stressed that due to the scarcity of competition in the country, only long distance runners (100m to 10 000m) can qualify as track field can be difficulty and most athletes are not interested it. One would wonder if these athletes are ready to emulate what Fredericks did in 1996 at the summer Olympics when he set a record that stood for 18 years in men’s 100 metres.
However, some athletes have come out criticising the way their preparatory money have been handled, they demand to get the funds in cash then they can buy what they need especial training equipment which will also put their mind at easy and compete without any negative thinking.
Hiskia is a former marathon runner who represented Namibia in several competitions in different countries, so he knows what is at stake if Namibian athletes are to bring medals at home.