Rising shot put star aims for world stardom

By John Tuerijama

NAMIBIA national shot put sensation Karlien Botha has her eyes on becoming a world star once she completes her Grade 12 at the Grootfontein Agri College in Otjozondjupa region.

Her father and trainer Henk Botha told Confidente this week that the 17 year old has received offers from the United States of America (USA) and South Africa to further both her education and sport at universities in the respective countries.

Karlien is the current national shot put champion and has for the past two years been the national champion. She hopes to undertake her studies in the USA when she completes school by first doing courses in pre-med and medicine, while focusing on her athletic career.

He said they have contacted a number of universities in the USA through a friend based there, but due to differences in the educational system Karlien would only be able to enrol at the university of her choice next year.

Botha believes the USA has the best qualified coaches in the world.

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“We are currently weighing up the best possible option for Karlien,” he said.

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“Her target now is to break the 20-year-old shot put record of 47 metres, with her personal record standing at 43 metres.”

The Grade 12 learner also wants to qualify for the 2020 World Championships scheduled for Nairobi, Kenya. She has represented Namibia at various athletic competitions from a tender age, including the Confederation of Southern Africa School Sport Association (COSSASSA) Ball Games, and has been selected for the senior national team.

Shot put is a track and field event involving “putting” (pushing rather than throwing) a heavy spherical object—the shot—as far as possible.

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The shot put competition for men has been a part of the modern Olympics since their revival in 1896. The women’s competition began in 1948.

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