Johannes Nambala who won gold in the 400m T13 at last year's World Para Athletics Championships is eyeing gold at Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images

Namibian Para-athlete Johannes Nambala is confident Tokyo 2020 will be a "turning point" in his career as he sets his sights on gold.

His determination to succeed at next year’s Paralympic Games has been fuelled by his failure to finish top of the podium at Rio 2016.

Nambala, who has won medals at every World Championships since 2013, came second in the 100 metres and 400m T13.

But the 29-year-old insists he has "learnt from my mistakes" as he aims to become only the third Namibian to clinch gold at the Paralympics.

"I have no doubt Tokyo 2020 Games will be a turning point for me as I will make history in my sports career," said Nambala.

"I hope to achieve this by raising the bar to a level I have not yet reached.

"I have learnt from my mistakes (at Rio 2016).

"I have improved since then.

"I have no doubt the Tokyo 2020 Games will be remarkable."

Nambala was in fine form before the outbreak of the coronavirus which resulted in the Olympic and Paralympic Games being postponed to 2021.

He won gold in the 400m at the 2019 World Para Athletics Championships with a season’s best time of 48.73 seconds before claiming bronze in the 100m.

"I was doing well and was in the zone for the Tokyo 2020 Games when the pandemic struck," said Nambala.

Johannes Nambala lies on the track after finishing second in the 400m T13 at Rio 2016 - a result that still rankles with him ©Getty Images
Johannes Nambala lies on the track after finishing second in the 400m T13 at Rio 2016 - a result that still rankles with him ©Getty Images

"This setback is disappointing.

"People are helpless in such global calamities.

"COVID-19 came fast and at first, no one knew how dangerous it was.

"It spread around the world fast and disrupted people’s lives and routine.

"As an athlete and world champion, the impact of COVID-19 has been devastating.

"I cannot train as usual.

"Further, there are no competitions around the world to gauge my progress.

"I hope everything will soon be safe so we can get back to our normal life and continue to chase our dreams."

Nambala, who trains mostly in Europe, is looking to get back to his regular training routine.

"The training facilities are top class in Europe,” added Nambala.

"You need to have access to excellent training facilities to compete against the best and stay at the top.

"Exposure to frequent high-level competitions is vital to know where you stand.

"I plan to return to Europe once it is safe to do so.

"In the meantime, I will continue to train at home with the programme that the coach has given me.

"Then once the situation improves, I will intensify my training. With such a lot happening, so fast, there is very little that you can plan.

"As of now, we all can hope for the best and keep working hard and stay fit."