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BENSON Johanna
Sport Para athletics
NPC Namibia   
Place of BirthWalvis Bay, NAM
Height1.65 m
Weight 47 kg
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Type of Impairment
Cerebral Palsy
T37, F37
Further Personal Information
Afrikaans, English
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
She took up the sport in 2006.
Why this sport?
In 2008 she was spotted competing in a school race by Tsire Tsauseb, the former president of the Namibia Sports Federation for People with Disabilities. He encouraged her to take up the sport seriously and became her first coach.
Club / Team
Welwitschia Paralympic Sport Club: Walvis Bay, NAM
Name of coach
Richard Goreseb [national]
Senior International Debut
Competing for
Commonwealth Games
Delhi, IND
General Interest
Memorable sporting achievement
Having her first gold medal handed to her at the ceremony by Namibian sprinter Frankie Fredericks. (Athlete, 23 Oct 2015)
Most influential person in career
Her mother, and former coach Barbara Fernandes. (Athlete, 23 Oct 2015; Athlete, 26 Aug 2012)
Hero / Idol
South African Para sprinter Oscar Pistorius. (Athlete, 23 Oct 2015)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"I love athletics. I will keep on doing it until my legs tell me it's enough. Future children will continue doing sports." (Athlete, 23 Oct 2015)
Awards and honours
In 2017 she was named Para Sportswoman of the Year at the African Union Sports Council [AUSC] Region 5 Annual Sports Awards in Johannesburg, South Africa. (, 29 May 2017)

She was named Para Sportswoman of the Year in Namibia in 2010 and 2016. (, 04 Nov 2016;, 31 Oct 2010)

She was Namibia's flag bearer at the opening ceremony of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (, 06 Sep 2016)

In 2015 she received a Sporting Achievement Award from Disability Sport Namibia. (, 19 Oct 2015)

She was nominated for the 2013 Laureus World Sports Award for Sportsperson of the Year with an Impairment. (, 28 Feb 2013)
She was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at age five months. (, 28 Feb 2013)
Other information
In 2012 she became the first person representing Namibia to win a gold medal at the Paralympic Games when she was victorious in the T37 200m in London. The Namibian president rewarded her with a diplomatic passport, a house worth 1,500,000 Namibian dollars and a grant of 170,000 Namibian dollars. The following year a street in Walvis Bay, Namibia, was renamed Johanna Benson Street in her honour. (, 16 Sep 2015;, 14 Dec 2012)

In 2013 she founded the Johanna Benson Foundation [JBF], a non-profit organisation aiming to support Para athletes in Namibia. (, 09 Sep 2016)

Competition Highlights (historical)
Paralympic Games
Rank Year Event Result
10 2012 Long Jump F37/38 3.71
2 2012 100m T37 14.23
1 2012 200m T37 29.26
7 2016 100m T37 14.16
8 2016 400m T37 1:12.35
6 2016 Long Jump T37 3.61
World Championships
Rank Year Event Result
11 2011 200m T37 31.51
9 2011 100m T37 15.08
6 2011 Long Jump F38 3.71
3 2013 200m T37 29.18
3 2013 100m T37 14.35
12 2013 Long Jump T37/38 3.20
7 2015 100m T37 14.67
5 2015 400m T37 1:10.74
7 2015 Long Jump T37 3.37
3 2015 200m T37 29.98
Commonwealth Games
Rank Year Event Result
3 2010 100m T37 14.81
3 2014 Long Jump T37/38 3.82