Mboma begins comeback 

Christine Mboma (centre) in action. File photo

Christine Mboma returns to the Kip Keino Classic in Nairobi, Kenya, looking to rediscover the joy of running following her exile by World Athletics.

An injury, along with a controversial ban from competition over naturally elevated testosterone levels, have curtailed Mboma’s progress over the last two years.

She will use the Nairobi meet to gauge her level, albeit at a distance she’s barely run before, after which she will set up camp in Europe to launch her bid for Olympic qualification.

The last time Mboma attempted to compete in the 100 metres was at the Kip Keino in 2022, when she pulled up in agony mid-race and consequently missed the World Athletics Championships.

The race was billed as a showdown between upstart Mboma and Jamaican sprint legend Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who won in a blistering 10, 67 seconds.

“I feel good, coming back and running here in Kenya again. I had a terrible injury [last time in Nairobi], I still have some flashbacks. This time I’ll do my best and see what I’m able to do,” Mboma says about the race.

“We’ve just been busy with training and this will be my first race for the season,” she says, adding she was happy to be back in Nairobi, a city which holds a special place in her heart.

Nairobi is where she won gold and silver at the World Athletics u20 Youth Championships in 2021, a few weeks after storming to a silver medal in the women’s 200m at the Tokyo Olympics.

She also set a then Kip Keino Classic meeting record of 22,39 seconds in the 200m at the end of her incredible 2021 season.

American 100m world champion Sha’Carri Richardson improved that time to 22,07 seconds last year.

While Mboma gave little away about her intention at Saturday’s World Athletics Continental Tour meeting, she says it marks the start of her journey to qualify for the Olympics in Paris.

“We have the best athletes in Africa. I’ll not talk about how I’ll do at the Olympics, I’ll just go out there and do my personal best. I’ll try to qualify for the Olympics,” she says.

The Namibian sprinter will face Jamaican prodigy Alana Reid, African Games champion Gina Bass, Egypt’s Basant Hemida, Belgium’s Rosius Rani, Germany’s Kayden Lilly, the United States’ Ray Shannon and Kenya’s Esther Mbagari.

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