Windhoek-President Hage Geingob yesterday showered praise and warm congratulatory messages on Namibia’s veteran marathoner Helalia Johannes and amateur boxing sensation Jonas Junias Jonas for making the country proud at the just-ended Commonwealth Games in Australia.
Both Johannes and Jonas hogged international headlines when they scooped gold medals in their respective disciplines, with ever-shining boxer Jonas overwhelmingly outfoxing his Canadian opponent Thomas Blumenfeld to clinch gold in the men’s 64kg category, while Namibia’s veteran campaigner Johannes was in brilliant form as she outpaced her more fancied opponents to bring home the country’s second gold medal at the games.
The president particularly singled out Johannes for becoming Namibia’s first female athlete to claim gold at the international quadrennial games since the country’s maiden appearance at the games in 1994, which then saw legendary sprinter Frank Fredericks bringing home gold and bronze medals.
Geingob called on both athletes to continue hoisting the country’s flag high on the international arena and strive to repeat the same feat at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
“With hard work, organisation, collective effort and discipline, Namibian sport can reach greater heights,” said the president briefly, as he summed up Namibia’s performance at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, where the country finished 19th overall on the medals table.