Distraught Benson won’t give up
Paralympics star Johanna Benson has vowed to bounce back, after her dismal showing at the recently concluded Paralympic Games in Rio, Brazil.
Known as the ‘Golden Girl’, after her exploits at the 2012 London Paralympics, where she won silver and gold medals, Benson had been expected to dominate her events in Brazil, but failed to win a single medal.
She finished seventh out of eight competitors in the T37 100m final, last in the T37 400m final and sixth in the high jump category.
Her performances at the Rio Games have raised questions among sport analysts, with some saying that she might have participated in her final Paralympics.
However, Benson said she still has a few more years left in her, before she retires from the sport that gave her fame and fortune.
“I felt really bad, after losing all three events that I participated in, because people expected so much from me at the games.
“I believe that I was not well-prepared and the weather in Rio also affected my performance.
“I was just not focused this time around, like I was in London, and I was off the pace, compared to my competitors,” Benson said.
The 26-year-old, who will be aged 30 at the next Paralympic Games in Tokyo, said she believes that she has what it takes to return to her winning ways, because of her courage and desire to succeed.
“I am not going to retire from athletics anytime soon, because I am still very young.
“I just have to work harder in the next few months, so that I can regain the drive and spirit I had in 2012.
“I believe that this (performance in Rio) will be a wake-up call to me and everyone else who thought I was immortal.
“I would, however, like to congratulate all the athletes who won medals, especially my teammates, who performed so well at the Paralympics,” Benson added.
The Namibian team scooped a record five medals at the Rio Games, compared to three in London.