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Namibian rower excels at FISA Olympic qualifiers

Namibian rower excels at FISA Olympic qualifiers

Niël Terblanché

BY taking first place in the final race at the African Olympic Qualification regatta in Tunis, Maike Diekmann became the first ever Namibia to qualify for the Olympic Games in a rowing sport.
What makes the historic feat even more special is the fact that the 25-year-old athlete only started doing the sport as a complete novice four years ago. She specialises in the 2 000 metre event and she claimed the golden medal in the final race of the FISA Championship on Saturday.
Diekmann beat Lieben Dickens from Zimbabwe and Nihad Benchali from Algeria to claim top spot. Two years ago the Namibian claimed the silver medal in the championship event that also took place in Tunis.
The victory means that Diekmann will represent Namibia at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.