WINDHOEK – The Namibia National Olympic Committee (NNOC) has released this year’s qualification criteria for the upcoming Africa Youth Games and Youth Olympic Games, respectively, taking place later this year.
Athletes aspiring to form part of the Africa Youth Games in Algiers, Algeria, from July 16, 2018, are required to participate in regional, continental and international competitions, sanctioned by IFs events by June 10.
The Association of National Olympic Committees for Africa will not accept sport entries after the said date. Athletes must be ranked within the top five in Africa and the team sports will be selected by the Ifs.
At present, the NNOC with recommendation from its National Federations is compiling a long list of athletes that could potentially qualify for the event. The long list entries will close on May 15, 2018.
Seven sport codes are for the Olympic Youth Games at the African Youth Games which are; athletics, archery, rowing, rugby sevens, hockey, karate and beach volleyball.
These disciplines have been confirmed as qualifiers for the Under-18 games, while nine athletes on Olympic Solidarity Scholarships have already secured their position at the Youth Olympic Games, as this forms part of their contractual obligations to Olympic Solidarity.
The athletes are as follows:
1. Adrian Grobler: Archery
2. Sade de Sousa: Athletics
3. Ivan Geldenhuys: Athletics
4. Alexander Miller: Cycling
5. Nadine Fleming: Equestrian
6. Lance Potgieter: Gymnastics
7. Heleni Stergiadis: Swimming
8. Ronan Wantenaar: Swimming
9. Hafeni Asino: Wrestling
Speaking at a media briefing in Windhoek last week, President of the NNOC, Abner Axel Xoagub, said the focus for this year is on qualification, not on quota allocation or universality placements, since competition for this year’s games are extremely tough and competitive.
“Only athletes meeting the qualification criteria will be considered for participation in Algiers and National Federations have been reminded on the importance of ensuring that athletes receive appropriate and adequate preparation prior to participation,”
Xoagub further stated that participation in the Youth Olympic Games was determined by the International Olympic Committee, therefore, qualification for these games was much harder to determine.
“Namibia’s participation in the Youth Olympic Games will be determined through qualification events sanctioned by the respective international federations, as each code has their own measurement standards,” Xoagub concluded.
Delays in releasing the qualification criteria earlier to National Federations was attributed to a change in sports ministerial leadership in Algiers.
Namibian athletes will form part of 4,000 athletes across Africa, while the Youth Olympic Games taking place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from October 6 to 18 are also expected to receive just over 3,900 athletes from 209 nations.