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BENSON Johanna
Sport Para athletics
NPC Namibia   
GenderWomen
Age32
Place of BirthWalvis Bay, NAM
Height1.65 m
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Type of Impairment
Cerebral Palsy
Origin of Impairment
Congenital
Further Personal Information
Residence
Walvis Bay, NAM
Occupation
Athlete, Human Resources
Languages
Afrikaans, English
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
She took up the sport in 2006 at the Kuisebmond Secondary School in Walvis Bay, Namibia.
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.
Name of coach
Michael Hamukwaya [national], ZAM
Senior International Debut
Year
2010
Competing for
Namibia
Tournament
Commonwealth Games
Location
Delhi, IND
General Interest
Most influential person in career
Her mother, and former coach Barbara Fernandes. (southerntimesafrica.com, 06 Nov 2020; Athlete, 23 Oct 2015; Athlete, 26 Aug 2012)
Hero / Idol
Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, Kenyan middle distance runner David Rudisha, her parents. (namibian.com.na, 12 May 2016; Athlete, 23 Oct 2015)
Injuries
She was affected by an injury to her leg ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (namibian.com.na, 12 May 2016)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Do not give up and never stop trying. Some days it looks as if you will never make it, and the next it all happens." (indhoek.sites.unicnetwork.org, 06 Apr 2016)
Awards and honours
In 2017 she was named Para Sportswoman of the Year at the African Union Sports Council [AUSC] Region Five Annual Sports Awards in Johannesburg, South Africa. (newera.com.na, 29 May 2017)

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

She was Namibia's flag bearer at the opening ceremony of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (myinfo.rio2016.com, 06 Sep 2016)

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

She was nominated for the 2013 Laureus World Sports Award for Sportsperson of the Year with an Impairment. (paralympic.org, 28 Feb 2013)

In 2013 a street in Walvis Bay, Namibia, was renamed Johana Benson Street in recognition of her gold medal win in the T37 200m at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. (paralympic.org, 16 Sep 2015; paralympic.org, 14 Dec 2012)
Milestones
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. (paralympic.org, 16 Sep 2015; paralympic.org, 14 Dec 2012)
Impairment
She was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at age five months. (paralympic.org, 28 Feb 2013)

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
11 2019 400m T37 1:10.59
10 2019 100m T37 14.68
9 2019 Universal Relay 57.00
11 2019 200m T37 29.89
Commonwealth Games
Rank Year Event Result
3 2010 100m T37 14.81
3 2014 Long Jump T37/38 3.82