T11 athlete Ananias Shikongo Thursday night won Namibia’s third medal at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games after finishing third in the mixed T11/12 100 metre (m) event.
The T11/12 category is for athletes with visual impairments.
A T11 athlete may be entirely without sight or may be able to perceive light, and commonly runs blindfolded with the assistance of a guide. T12 athletes generally have some residual sight and the ability to recognise the shape of a hand at a distance of two metres, and may choose to run with a guide, or by themselves.
At the Commonwealth Games these two classes are joined together. This year Shikongo was the only T11 athlete to qualify for the championships.
Shikongo, also known as Trouble Maker on the track, progressed to the final of the T11/12 category on Wednesday after finishing second in his heat with the fastest time of 11.12 seconds, which was a new T11 Game Record and his seasonal best in the 100m.
On Thursday, the Namibian sprinter ran a new T11 Game Record and personal best of 10.95 seconds to win a bronze medal. South Africa’s T12 sprinter Ndodomzi Ntutu won gold with a time of 10.83 seconds.
England’s T12 sprinter Alexander Shaw won silver with a time of 10.90 seconds.
In an interview with Nampa after the race, Shikongo said despite the competition being a mixed event, he was happy to win a medal.
“I pushed myself hard seeing as I was the only T11 athlete and winning this medal shows that I am still strong. I am now going to focus on improving this time down to 10.70 seconds,” he said.
His guide, Even Tjiuiju said credit should be given to those who support them, especially NamPower which always ensures that they take part in competitions and have the funds to participate in training.
Another Namibian who competed on Thursday was cyclist Drikus Coetzee, who rode in the men’s individual time trials. He finished in 32nd position despite crashing earlier in the race.
Lawn bowls player Carel Olivier narrowly missed out on a semi-finals spot after he finished third in Group C of the men’s singles play. He was level on nine points with the group leader and runner-up but due to a goal difference, he was eliminated.
Source: The Namibian Press Agency