Sprinter Bradley aim to shine in UK

Hard work and talent
A 19-year-old para-athlete from Swakopmund will participate in the upcoming Birmingham Commonwealth Paralympic Games.
Michelline Nawatises
Swakopmund An elite athlete at MTC Dome Namibia and 2021’s winner of the Sportsman with a Disability prize at the Namibia Sports Awards, Bradley Murere (19), will along with two compatriots participate in the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Paralympic Games taking place from 28 July to 8 August with the motto “Games for Everyone”.

Through their Commonwealth Games Federation office, the Namibia National Paralympic Committee confirmed that Murere was chosen to represent Namibia in the 100 metres.

“It took hard work to be here, both mentally and physically. I am grateful to MTC Dome and the Swakopmund municipality for sponsoring me financially and motivating me psychologically. My goal is to be and do better each time I compete,” said a visibly excited Murere. He currently ranks in the top ten worldwide for both 100 m and long jump as a para-athlete in the T46 category – an amazing position at world-class standards when considering that 5 054 athletes are expected to participate in the Commonwealth Games this year.

With three European Paralympic Games and five appearances at South Africa Sports Association for the Physically Disabled (SASAPD) events, Bradley is one of the most decorated Paralympic athletes of all time with seven medals (six gold and one silver). At the Stellenbosch T46 Paralympic Games in February, he pulled off an incredible feat achieving his best time of 11:07 in the 100 m distance and 6.26 m in the long jump – placing him in the top ten in both sports disciplines worldwide.

Ulla Finkeldey, sports director at the MTC Dome, mentor, trainer, and athletics coach to Bradley for the past five years, said this is a big step toward their goal of making it to the 2024 Paralympics. “We worked very hard to get into the paralympic team.”

Murere, who only started his journey in the long jump last year, is doing exceptionally great to be ranked third in the world with a best leap of 6.26 m. In his classification, the current world record is 7 m.

“Our athlete development training program offered by MTC Dome High-Performance Centre has paid off,” added Finkeldey.

She said specialised training equipment and the support of partners such as the Swakopmund municipality all contributed to the development of talent. “Bradley surely has shown that his disability has given him the ability to show the world that you can achieve what you put your mind to and reach your goals with the correct training, support, and guidance.”

Fanus Engelbrecht, CEO of MTC Dome, reiterated that the establishment supports youth and sports development – with Bradley as an example of this. “Giving is not about a donation, but about making a difference.”

Alfeus Benjamin, CEO of the municipality, said the national and international results obtained by athletes from the MTC Dome are exciting. “Council is committed to this programme and to discover more athletes.” Murere’s races will be live-streamed at MTC Dome.