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Nam discus thrower misses Barcelona

by John Tuerijama



Discus and shot-put thrower, Charlene Engelbrecht was the only Namibian athlete who almost booked a place at the just ended CAA Southern African Junior Athletics Championships held at the Independence Stadium recently.
Engelbrecht, a student in Pretoria, South Africa, clinched a gold medal in both the discus and shot-put disciplines but failed to meet the qualification criteria.
Athletics Namibia (AN) secretary-general, Frank Slabbert informed The Villager Sport on enquiry that although Namibia came second on overall at the Southern African Junior Championships, none of the 50 plus athletes managed to book a place for the July World Junior Championships slated for Barcelona, Spain.
Slabbert, who is based in Swakopmund, could, however, not divulge the minimum qualification distances for the two disciplines for the world junior championships even though Engelbrecht snatched two gold medals at the event.
The secretary-general said the qualification period for the world junior championships is over and that the deadline for the event is sometime next month.
He added that with Namibia having ended second on overall, the country could become a force to be reckoned with in the near future, especially within the Sadc region.
“We really did well at the junior championships beating both Botswana and Zimbabwe into third and fourth places, respectively,” he beamed.
All but three Sadc member-states were represented at the CAA Southern African Junior Championships..
“We all know that Madagascar has political problems while Malawi has no funding but for the other country that did not pitch, I have no idea why,” said Slabbert.
The secretary-general added that the national under-17 athletic team will be selected next week for the African Championships to be hosted by Benin later this year.
Efforts to get comments from Engelbrecht proved futile as she is back to South Africa for her studies.