Meet Johannes, new kid on the track

By Michael Uugwanga

EPIFANIA Valentino Johannes at just 15 years is already being touted as the heir to Christine Mboma and Beatrice Masilingi as she follows in the footsteps of her two Olympian idols that continue to make international headlines due to their outstanding performances.

Johannes is set to represent Namibia at the upcoming International School Sports Federation’s World Sport Games which will take place from September 12 to 19 in Belgrade, Serbia.

Johannes specialises in the 100m and 200m events.

She is a pupil in grade nine at Otunganga Combined School in Ohangwena region where she was born.

Speaking to Confidente Sport while in training Johannes said that current champions Mboma and Masilingi have inspired her to work harder.

Ironically, she was in the same Namibian team with the golden girls at the Confederation of Southern African Schools Sports Association (Cosassa) Athletics meeting in Eswatini in 2019.

“Training is great so far … just can’t wait to go there (Belgrade). I have been in training camp for the past two weeks. I feel am ready for the race. Masilingi and Mboma have been a great inspiration. We were in the same national team at Cosassa Games in 2019. I was 13 years old then.

“My favourite event is 200m and I am going to take part in both 100m and 200m as well as the relay. Determination and passion has motivated me to be in athletics. I work hard in training in order to win. I relax by listening to music,” she said.

Like Mboma and Masilingi, Johannes has already won individual accolades and is always gearing up for the next big thing while being coached by Edward Kapewasha.

“I have really experienced a lot in athletics. I got bronze medal in 100m and gold medal in 200m at NSSU nationals in Windhoek this year 2021. In 2019, after winning gold and silver in the same event, I was selected in the national team to Cosassa. In the 200m I won the first heat of which I went on to qualify to the semi-finals and final where I finished in fourth. Unfortunately, I could not run the 100m as I got injured.

“Operi Tjipuka who is my second mother since 2019 supported me when I went to Eswatini. I have also received lots of financial support from different companies.

“My target at the games is to win a medal because I want to make my country proud. I will also be aiming for my personal best in both 100m and 200m. I know I can win because I believe in myself and I have people that believe in me.

“I have been training hard. At training, my coach  Eddy always tell me to  train hard and win easy and I am in good shape for the competition,” concluded Johannes.