Mon | Aug 21, 2017

Jamaica-based Namibian competing in Oregon

Published:Sunday | March 20, 2016 | 3:00 AM

PORTLAND, USA:

It isn't only Jamaicans who train in Jamaica who have been participating at the International Association of Athletics Federations World Indoor Championships at the Oregon Convention Centre this weekend.

On Thursday, Tjipekapora Herunga of Namibia competed in the women's 400m heats.

Herunga is a student in the Faculty of Science and Sport at the University of Technology (UTech) and trains with the UTech-based MVP Track and Field Club.

The Namibian was hoping to improve on her 55.40-second indoor personal best, but was unfortunately disqualified.

"I came out today to run the 400m. It's kind of hard. It was my second 400m and I came here saying I'm going out there to give my best," she told The Gleaner.

Herunga explained how she ended up in Jamaica from Windhoek, Namibia.

"We watch athletics and we see most of the best world-class athletes in Jamaica," she said.

"In Namibia, we have talented people, but I don't think we have people who can help the athletes go forward, so then our government and UTech came together and decided to give people 50 per cent of our scholarship, and that's how we end up there and with MVP."

 

JAMAICAN TRAINING A PLUS

 

Herunga believes training in Jamaica will help push her to her best.

"I think they are people who can push me because, back home, I just train alone, and here, there's Stephenie (McPherson) and a lot of them and competition-wise, Jamaica always has athletes who can push me to my limit," she said.

Life in Jamaica is different, but Herunga admits to loving the Jamaican cuisine.

"The weather is different because we have summer, we have winter, we have spring, but the weather is not that bad. It's humid. I like the food too. It is different. I love the ackee. That's one thing that I would take back home, and the training facilities. We don't have the best training facility, but what we have, it's enough to take us to Rio."