Hitjiverue Kaanjuka and Globine Mayova, both of Khomas, were the stars of the show as they both won the sprint doubles at the Bank Windhoek National Senior Athletics Championships over the weekend.
Kaanjuka was a comfortable winner of the 100m in a fast time of 10,39 seconds, finishing well ahead of Dantago Gurirab and FC Pieterse, who came joint second in 10,81 seconds.
Gurirab had kept pace with Kaanjuka until the halfway mark but pulled up towards the end with a hamstring injury.
Kaanjuka also dominated the 200m final as he powered through the home stretch to win in 21,32 seconds, with Frank Puriza coming second in 21,75 and FC Pieterse third in 21,77 seconds.
Kaanjuka’s main rival, Jesse Urikhob did not participate after pulling a hamstring a week before the nationals. Urikhob had earlier beaten Kaanjuka in both sprints at the third leg of the Bank Windhoek Grand Prix series in Windhoek on January 14, although his times were slower on that occasion. Urikhob won the 100m in 10,58 and the 200m in 21,43 seconds.
Globine Mayova was a clear winner in the women’s 100m in a time of 11,83 seconds, with Merlyn Diamond coming second in 12,25 and Victoria Tjingaete third in 12,97 seconds.
Mayova’s best performance however came in the 200m as she turned on the speed to beat national record holder Tjipekapora Herunga to the line. Mayova’s winning time of 23,78 seconds was just off Herunga’s national record of 23,50 seconds. Herunga came second in 24,42 and Cornel Britz third in 25,25 seconds.
Daniel Nghipandulwa dominated the men’s middle distances, winning both the 800m in 1:50,53 and the 1 500m in 3:48,88. Johannes Skrywer came second in the 800m in 1:53,64 and Petrus Ruanda third in 1:54,07, while Skrywer also came second in the 1 500m in 3:53,71 and Oscar Komeya third in 4:01,08.
Lavinia Haitope also did the double, winning the women’s 1 500m in 4:36,23 and the 3 000m in 9:57,42. Her main rival in the 3 000m, Beata Naigambo, who set a new national record of 9:20,34 in January, did not compete at the national championships.
Pieter Jan Swanepoel did the double in the men’s field events, winning the men’s shot put with a distance of 15,00m and the discus in 40,96m.
Charlene Engelbrecht also did the double in the women’s field events, winning the shot put in 13,33m and the discus in 43,71m.
Basilius Karupu surprised by beating Frank Puriza in the 400m. Karupu won gold in 47,94 seconds, followed by Even Tjiviju (48,13) and Armandus Gawaseb (48,51).
Puriza, who had flown in especially from the United States to compete at the championships, could only manage a fourth place in 48,82 seconds. Puriza told Namibia Sport he was disappointed with his performance but that it was still early in his season and that he only planned to peak in June.
Tjipekapora Herunga was a comfortable winner of the women’s 400m in 53,32 seconds, followed by Julia Handjene (58,59) and Ottlie Shiyakela (59,52). Herunga’s winning time was however well off her national record of 51,85 seconds.
Meanwhile, Herunga and Daniel Nghipandulwa, were announced as Athletics Namibia’s Sportswoman and Sportsman of the Year, during the championships.
The competition was run via public votes on Athletics Namibia’s Facebook page as well as votes by the Namibian media. Both athletes received N$2 500.
The Cheetahs Athletics Club won the award for Namibian athletics club of the season.
(More at Namibia Sports)
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