Independence Lahimana alias Depa Sakaraha recounts his 120-day internship in China for the Games of the islands of the Indian Ocean.
- Madagascar will host the XIth JIOI 2023 in three months. Tell us about the preparation of our athletes in China that just ended last week?
Hosting the XIth edition of the 2023 JIOI in Madagascar is an honor for the country. All Malagasy should be proud of it. The preparation of athletes in China lasted about one hundred and twenty days, and it is considered the longest. It went well because we worked with the best Chinese technicians. In a word, the results are positive.
- How do you see the evolution of our athletes compared to their performances in Madagascar?
Doing an internship outside brings a lot to the morale of the athletes. China is currently one of the emerging countries in athletics. The technicians who supervised our athletes have the necessary level and they were very strict during the course. Several tests have been done and from what I have seen here in China, I believe there will be new game records for Madagascar in athletics. For example the women’s 100m and 400m with the excellent form of Claudine Nomenjanahary, currently in France, and Haingo Brigitte Razanajafy with her personal best of 11.53 achieved here in China. The others are also not left out: Lynah 800m (2’14.38), Benandro Sylvain (10.48) 100m, Bruto 100m (10.48), Patrice Remandro (47.23), Vavara 400m (47.32).
- So what are our chances of medals in athletics at the 2023 JIOI?
Of the fifty medals to be contested, Malagasy athletics intends to win at least thirty, and why not more, because we are playing at home.
- Two months before the opening of the 11th edition of the 2023 JIOI in Madagascar, the infrastructure is far from complete. Your impression?
I only talk about what I know. All I can say is that athletics is ready to fight for Madagascar. May the preparation of our athletes at the Barea stadium in Mahamasina always continue. And I hope that athletics will be first in the standings in terms of medals.
- Was the integration easy in China?
We were well received in China. The benefit has been mutual as our athletes also act as sparing partners for them. I would like to thank here the city which welcomed us with open arms, without forgetting the Chinese government and I will say until the next time.