Marianne Young

Marianne Young

High Commissioner, Windhoek

Part of UK in Namibia

7th September 2012 Windhoek, Namibia

Namibia brings back gold!

Johanna Benson…blistering speed!

Namibia is celebrating after female paralympic sprinter Johanna Benson won gold in the Women’s T37 200 metres final in London on Wednesday night – marking the first Olympic gold for the country after a remarkable career. Johanna had also picked up a silver medal earlier in the week for coming in second in the women’s T37 100m race.

In a particularly touching symbol, Namibia’s previous silver medal running winner, Frankie Fredericks, presented her with her gold medal. Fredericks, who won four silver medals for Namibia in the 1992 and 1996 Games, is now an IOC member. He joined Games chief Lord Sebastian Coe to plant the final piece of turf in the main stadium last year and was guest of honour at the launch of our Olympic activities last year in Windhoek, so it was wonderful to see these key figures come together at this historic time for Namibian sport.

New UK Minister for Africa Mark Simmonds was able to personally congratulate Namibia’s Paralympic team and visiting Deputy Minister of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture, Hon Pohamba Shifeta, during a special tour of the GREAT Pavilion at the Foreign Office in London yesterday.

Johanna’s victory marks the first Olympic gold for Namibia

Speaking at the event, Mr Simmonds said: “I was delighted to welcome Hon Pohamba Shifeta and his athletes to London and the Paralympics Games. Namibians are passionate about their sport and were excited about the medal chances for their athletes competing in London. Before the team departed I am told that President Pohamba urged his athletes to make the country proud.  With this in mind I am delighted that the team secured Namibia’s first ever Paralympic gold medal in the women’s 200m. The passion, dedication and accomplishments of all Paralympians this summer will, I am sure, inspire the next generation of young people from around the world to work hard and achieve the best they possibly can in their chosen fields.” I would like to echo his words and hearty congratulations – not just to Johanna – but to all the terrific young Namibian sportsmen and women that took part in the London 2012 Games.

It has been a truly fantastic summer in the UK for all of us involved with the Games, and as the Paralympic Games draw to a close, we can reflect on some iconic moments in Olympic history, including: Usain Bolt’s “double triple” – retaining his 100m, 200m and 4x100m titles; Michael Phelps becoming the most decorated Olympian ever with 22 medals (18 gold); David Rudisha becoming the first athlete to run the 800m inside 1m 41s; and Mo Farah winning double Olympic gold at his home Games in the 5,000m and 10,000m.

Johanna Benson, who also won a silver medal when she came second in in the Women’s T37 100m race

The London 2012 Games has seen record-breaking numbers of spectators with over 7.4 million people visiting venues during the Olympic Games and 2.5 million during the Paralympics, making them the first Paralympic Games ever to sell out.

We’ve had record numbers of TV viewers, with up to a billion people watching the Olympic Opening Ceremony alone and the strongest Paralympic Games broadcast coverage ever received, with hundreds of hours of Paralympic sport broadcast around the world. We were delighted to welcome more than 130 Heads of State and Government and more than 40,000 Games Family Members to the UK. It was great that Namibia was a part of this and will be bringing at least two medals home. I look forward to catching up with all the athletes and sports officials on their return and hearing more about their London 2012 experiences. A very hearty well done in advance!

1 comment on “Namibia brings back gold!

  1. Woow, I am very proud to see that Johanna did very we’ll, I would like to say Johanna is still very young and she can still go far I wish her all the best in this, challengers are very much in this world, she must not loose hope, she must look forward and be focus , Namibia will stand behind her with all blessing.

    Alex Tjikua

Comments are closed.

About Marianne Young

Marianne Young is the current British High Commissioner to the Republic of Namibia. She arrived in Windhoek in June 2011 and presented her credentials to the President of the Republic of…

Marianne Young is the current British High Commissioner to the
Republic of Namibia. She arrived in Windhoek in June 2011 and presented
her credentials to the President of the Republic of Namibia on 3rd
Mrs Young joined the FCO in 2001 following a career in international
journalism, including time spent running an Asian maritime press office
in Singapore and a traineeship on the UK’s Times newspaper.
Her first role in the FCO was as a Press Officer in News Department,
after which she went on to be Head of the Great Lakes Section in Africa
Directorate and then Head of the East Africa & Horn Section.
In 2005, she became the first Head of Communications for the Engaging with the Islamic World Group.
She moved to the British High Commission in Pretoria in February 2007
and served as the Head of the External Political Section and Deputy
High Commissioner to the Kingdoms of Lesotho and Swaziland.
Mrs Young moved across to the British High Commission in Windhoek in
June 2011, and presented her credentials to the President of the
Republic of Namibia on 3rd August 2011.
On her appointment as British High Commissioner to the Republic of Namibia, Mrs Young said:
“I am honoured and delighted to be appointed Her Majesty’s High
Commissioner to Namibia. I look forward to working to strengthen the
many commercial, political and cultural ties between our two countries,
and to help the many British nationals who holiday there. My family and I
are particularly thrilled to be remaining in southern Africa – and to
have the opportunity to explore this beautiful country further and
discover more about its people and culture.”
Curriculum vitae

Full name:
Marianne Young

Married to:
Barry Young

Two daughters and one son

June 2011
Windhoek, British High Commissioner

2007 – 2011
Pretoria, Head of External Political Section and DHC for the Kingdoms of Lesotho and Swaziland

2005 – 2006
FCO, Head of Communications, Engaging with the Islamic World Group

2004 – 2005
FCO, Head of East Africa & Horn Section, Africa Directorate

3/2003 – 8/2003
FCO, Head of Great Lakes Section, Africa Directorate

2002 – 2003
FCO, Press Officer, Press Office

2001 – 2002
FCO, Departmental Report Editor, Press Office

Joined FCO

Senior Correspondent, Fairplay Group, UK

Staff Editor and then Asia Editor, Fairplay Group Singapore

Graduate Trainee at The Times newspaper, UK

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