By Staff Reporter
Veteran long distance runner Frans Hosea and Olympic-bound Hilaria Johannes put themselves in pole potion for the lucrative Old Mutual Victory Race first prize after the pair clinched victory in the first leg of the three legged leg series in Swakopmund, last weekend.
Both athletes recorded excellent times in their respective divisions with Hosea clocking a time of 1 hour, 4 minutes and 21seconds, leaving T. David to pick up the pieces in second place in one hour and five minutes with E Kauanivi trailing in third – 8 seconds off the pace of Kauanivi.
Johannes showed her competitors a clean pair of heels in the women’s category.
The lanky athlete crossed the line in a comfortable time of 1 hour, 11 minutes and 27 seconds, followed by Helena Ipinge in second place with a time of 1 hour, 15 minutes and 13 seconds, followed by H Amukoto five minutes later.
Luketz Swartbooi seems to be maturing like old wine.
The ageing runner clocked a time of 1 hour, 11 minutes and 0,5 seconds to clinch victory in the men’s veteran division, followed by RM Michael (01:18:55) and HC Viljoen (01:33:54) in second and third places respectively.
Up and coming runner D Nghipandulwa staked a serious claim for the development bursary with an excellent run in the Junior Under-19 category that saw him crossing the line in a solid time of 1 hour, 9 minutes and 14 seconds.
PN Iiyambo had to be satisfied with second place (01:10:12) with J Amunjoko adrift in third place (01:14:21).
L Haitope won the Junior Under-19 Women’s division in a time of 1 hour, 16 minutes and 38 seconds. M Kanime (01:40:04) and H Ndungula (02:00:39) were placed second and third.
The veterans female division proved a one sided affair with U Burd breaking the tape in a comfortable time of 1 hour, 39 minutes and 17 seconds. L Elago (02:03:27) and C Meintjies (02:13:32) were left to fight it out for 2nd and 3rd places respectively.
The Chief Executive Officer of Old Mutual Life Company Raimund Snyders said his company has always been committed to the well being of athletes and offered very attractive prizes and several rewards for excellent performances.
“Our prize structure not only allows our race to reward future Namibian Olympians for recording excellent times but retains a unique social development quality through the talent scouting process at each race.”
The second leg of the three-legged series will be staged at the Okatana Primary School in Oshakati on the 2nd of next month.
Entries for would-be participants are available at all Old Mutual branches throughout the country.
The organizers anticipate an increase of entries for this year’s series, and have made an appeal to athletes to submit their registration forms 48 hours before commencement of each race.
Registration details will be communicated through promotions for the Old Mutual Victory Race Series.
Local athletes participating in the series are in line to win several prizes after completion of the final leg, scheduled for Windhoek on the 20th of September 2008.
The winners of each category will receive a handsome N$10,000 with N$5000 up for grabs for the runner-up, while the bronze medalists will be N$2 500 richer.