Another Athletics Balls Up

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Carlos Kambaekwa Its only 32 days to be precise before the curtain opens for the 18th edition of the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia, and some local disciplines are still cruising in third gear ahead of the prestigious event. I’ve on numerous occasions tried to send out warning signals to sport authorities through my pen, but it’s now clear my well meant pleas have fallen on deaf ears, notably when I questioned the quality of the so-called provisional list of 15 athletes for the Commonwealth Games, boastfully submitted by Athletics Namibia. Athletics Namibia under the leadership of the ever wanderlust Alpha Kangueehi has done it again – letting the nation down for the umpteenth time!!. Where did we really go wrong to be left at the mercy of self-centered personalities masquerading as sport gurus, people who can hardly spot the difference between a half marathon and a full marathon. I categorically pointed out several times that Agnes Samaria, Beata Naigambo and Luketz Swartbooi were the only athletes possessed with the pedigree for a place in Namibia’s contingent to Australia come next month, but the thick-skull Alpha would have none of any interference and told the author of this column in a well-constructed ÃÆ’Æ‘ÀÃ…ÃÆ”šÃ‚ºresponse where to get off. I must commend the brother for his excellent writing skills. At times, though not always, I feel a great pity for the brother because he appears to be living up to his preferred name “Alpha” which could be likened to Alpha Cement – not surprisingly, the brother is so uncompromising like a concrete wall. Ag sies tog, a moegoe will always remain a moegoe. Now, I’ve it on good authority that Agnes Samaria will be Athletics’ sole representative in Melbourne, with the possible eleventh hour inclusion of Beata Naigambo, who has fallen foul of sport politics, after her legitimate qualification was nullified through false premises. The surprise omission of Naigambo derived from a self-created clause within the National Sport Commission, which compels athletes to qualify through the highly competitive standards set out in the World Championship and Olympic requirements, as opposed to normal procedures applicable for the Commonwealth Games or All Africa Games for that matter. After paging slowly and carefully through the International Association of Athletics Federations qualification requirements, I failed to trace any clause preventing Naigambo from boarding the “groot voÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚«l” en route to the land of the Kangaroos, despite having broken the tape well within the limits of the required qualifying standards for this particular event. It looks like some moegoe is trying by all means to keep the young lady grounded for reasons only known to themselves – firstly, it was the lame excuse regarding the delayed submission of her passport, but after this issue was sorted out, the dust is yet to settle, so where is it all going to end? Last Friday saw several members from Athletics Namibia running around like a disorganized flock of sheep in a last ditch effort to have athletes qualify for the Commonwealth Games during a hastily-arranged athletics meet at Windhoek’s Independence Stadium. Ja, the last kick of a dying horse, my broertjie my brra. I’m still awaiting Alpha’s explanation as to why he submitted the name of an ineffective athlete while knowing very well the ill-tempered athlete was badly injured through a non-related athletics incident, though Alpha hotly disputes this – hang on mate !! I’m not referring to the location where the injury was sustained, but the actual root of the incident unless bra Alpha has a different interpretation of sport-related injuries. Apparently, the much-publicized investigation into the shambolic affairs at Athletics Namibia has been completed, and well-placed sources within the Commission say the investigative team is in the final stages of compiling its executive summary and is expected to table its findings and recommendations to the NNOC Executive for approval in due course. However, the body language from certain members within the NNOC clearly suggested we might see the back of Alpha and his buddies for good, not that we are rejoicing in their self-inflicted downfall – it’s a pity the brother completely misread constructive criticism and rather chose to rubbish those who tried to render advice on good governance, accusing them of having an axe to grind with him. Athletics Namibia has come under the microscope in the last couple of months for an assortment of accusations stemming from non-compliance with the Namibian Sport Act, including failure to submit an audited financial report to the supreme body of sport for the last three years. Fair enough, the National Sports Commission resembles the picture of a blind man in a dark room, because it’s clear the Executive completely missed the point by obliging a marathon runner, in this case Beata Naigambo, to clock two marathons before she could qualify for the Commonwealth Games. Wake up and smell the java sisters!!! there’s no such requirement for marathon runners and I’m still waiting to be provided with the invincible clause preventing Naigambo from inclusion in the Melbourne-bound Namibian contingent after the Commission promised to do likewise more than 48 hours gone. Now the fundamental question is; how do we expect the Associations and their subjects to act within the confines of laws governing international sport if the custodians themselves are not exactly up to date with simple things such as qualification criteria. That’s it for this week – I’m off for the time being until next Friday.