Guides, the unsung heroes of parasports… while Goagoseb shares the joy of helping

As the World Para Athletics Championships continue in Kobe, Japan, guide runner Kelvin Riwaldo Goagoseb shared his invaluable experience.

Sprinters with visual impairments run with a guide, who is attached to their wrist or hand with a band.

“The guide’s role is to provide everything a runner with vision has, from telling him how far down the course he is, to where he is compared to other runners, to what he needs to do to win. The role of the guide is crucial,” said Goagoseb, who is running guide for T11 para-athlete Chris Kinda.

The duo recently ran a World Champion time of 52.53 seconds in the 400m T11 in Kobe, a sentiment Goagoseb expressed as immeasurable.

He said they expected to finish on the podium, but they didn’t expect to win a gold medal. He explained that they are in the process of building for the future and the unexpected gold medal only increases their confidence. “I had mixed feelings before the race. I informed the coach that he was nervous and she advised me to follow the plan.

“Being a runner guide comes from the heart, I would recommend people to help each other to make each other’s dreams come true and, above all, to love each other. It is also important to maintain humility because there are many children in the world who look up to us,” he said.

Goagoseb added that there was a time when guide runners did not get a medal for their performances. “This changed at the 2012 Paralympic Games, where lead runners received medals and financial rewards for the first time for helping get on the podium.

“We are still often overlooked, even though we are important to the athlete: setting the blocks and getting the athlete’s hands, hips and feet in the correct position. You only run a golden race when you work as a team,” he stated.

Namibia Sports Commission Chief Administrator Freddy Mwiya expressed his pride in the athletes’ achievements. He said that athletes are all equal in their
achievements. “There is equal treatment and according to the reward policy, athletes will receive rewards for their performances,” Mwiya said.

Namibia is represented by 11 para-athletes and seven guides at the championship which began from May 17 to 25.

Highlights of the competition include yesterday morning’s performance in which Lahja Ishitile and guide Sem Shimanda set an African record in the T11 100m heats, finishing second in a time of 12.39 seconds. Johanna Benson made it to the final by finishing third in her 100m T37 heats and will compete today.

In the afternoon, Johannes Nambala finished in sixth position in the men’s 100m T13 race, with a time of 11.29 seconds, the best time of the season. The Algerian Skander Djamil Athmani took first place with a time of 10.44 seconds in what is a champion record, followed in second and third place respectively by the Japanese Shuta Kawakami with 10.70 seconds and the Norwegian Salum Kashafali with a time of 10.79 seconds. Nambala will compete again tomorrow in his favorite 400 meter race.

Namibian Lahja Ipinge, 17, and her guide Paulus Phillipus were disqualified because the guide crossed the finish line before the athlete, after finishing second in the second heat of the 400m T12 race.

Brazilian Lorraine Gomes de Aquiar advanced to the final with a time of 59.29 seconds. Ipinge and Phillipus will compete in the 100m T12 heats tomorrow.

Denzel Namene finished seventh in the men’s 100m T44 final with a time of 12.41 seconds. Mpumelelo Mhlongo of South Africa won gold with a time of 11.34 seconds, Eddy Bernard of Malaysia took silver and Indika Gamage of Sri Lanka took bronze. [email protected]