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9103-Johanna Benson photo

Johanna Benson

Athletics
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Biography

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

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)

Results

Unit Date Rank
2011 IPC Athletics World Championships (Christchurch, New Zealand)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 200 m T37 Heat 2 2011-01-22 4
Women's 100 m T37 Heat 2 2011-01-25 4
Women's Long Jump F37/38 Final 2011-01-27 6
London 2012 Paralympic Games (London, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's Long Jump F37/38 Final Round 2012-08-31 10
Women's 100 m T37 Heat 2 2012-09-02 4
Women's 100 m T37 Final Round 2012-09-02 2
Women's 200 m T37 Heat 2 2012-09-05 1
Women's 200 m T37 Final Round 2012-09-05 1
IPC Athletics World Championships (Lyon, France)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 200 m T37 Semifinal 1 2013-07-21 2
Women's 200 m T37 Final 1 2013-07-22 3
Women's 100 m T37 Semifinal 1 2013-07-23 3
Women's 100 m T37 Final 1 2013-07-24 3
Women's Long Jump T37/38 Final 1 2013-07-26 12
IPC Athletics 2015 World Championships (Doha, Qatar)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 100 m T37 Heat 1 2015-10-22 8
Women's 100 m T37 Final 1 2015-10-22 7
Women's 400 m T37 Final 1 2015-10-25 5
Women's Long Jump T37 Final 1 2015-10-28 7
Women's 200 m T37 Heat 1 2015-10-29 7
Women's 200 m T37 Final 1 2015-10-29 3
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 100 m T37 Heat 1 2016-09-08 3
Women's 100 m T37 Final Round 2016-09-09 7
Women's 400 m T37 Heat 1 2016-09-12 4
Women's 400 m T37 Final Round 2016-09-13 8
Women's Long Jump T37 Final Round 2016-09-14 6