Mboma, Masilingi burn up the track 

Christine Mboma and Beatrice Masilingi in action at the Khomas Athletics Meet. Photo: Helge Schütz

Christine Mboma and Beatrice Masilingi lit up the track as Mboma edged her old rival by a split second to win the women’s 200m final at the Khomas Athletics Championships on Saturday. 

It was an explosive display of power running by both athletes and although their respective times of 23,45 and 23,46 seconds were still quite a way off the Olympic Games qualifying time of 22,57, the adverse weather conditions hampered fast times.

Mboma’s coach Henk Botha, for one, was not discouraged by the time, saying that he believes that she can still qualify for the Olympics.

“Overall I think that time was not bad, because the wind was quite strong. In the turn it pushed the athletes from the front and in the home straight it was side on. It was also very cold so the athletes’ muscles didn’t want to activate very well, and I’m now even more positive that we can reach the Olympic Games qualifying target, most probably in Europe, or then at the African Champs in Cameroon,” he said. 

Mboma, herself, said she was happy with her time after it was originally given as a hand time of 22,81 before the electronic time was later set at 23,45.

“It was a tough race, but I ran a seasonal best so I’m happy with that. My time is close to the Olympic qualifying time so I’m almost there,” she said, adding that it was great to run against Masilingi again. 

“It’s always great running against her, it’s great to have her in the race, we always push each other to do our best, so it’s great,” she said.

Mboma and Botha yesterday left for France where she will compete in a few races, while Mboma and Masilingi will both also compete at the Africa Athletics Championships in Douala, Cameroon from 21 June.

Mboma also competed in the women’s 100m which she won in 11,80 seconds, finishing just ahead of Jade Nangula (11,84), while Johanna Ludgerus came third in 11,90. That time was well behind her personal best time of 10,97 seconds and quite a way off the Olympic qualifying mark of 11,07 seconds.

While the Mboma-Masilingi duel was the highlight of the day, there were several other impressive performances, with Ansune Smith, leading the charge. 

Smith, who is only 15-years-old, set a new Namibian senior hammer throw record of 37,52m, breaking her 18-year-old sister Anneliese Smith’s record in the process.

In February, Annelize set a new Namibian record of 34,85m and two months later improved that mark to 36,03m, but her younger sister has now improved that mark by nearly a metre and a half. 

There were also good performances by Cornelius Kuhn who comfortably won the men’s shot put with a distance of 16,62m, although it was nearly a metre off his national record of 17,54m, while Frieda Iithete won the women’s long jump with a new personal best distance of 5,94m.

The men’s sprints produced some exciting races with Sydney Mamuaruma winning the 100m with a hand-time of 10,3 seconds, followed by Charley Matundu (10,3) and Gift Masahu (10,4), while Hatago Murere won the 200m in 20,84 seconds, followed by Matundu (20,9) and Elvis Gaseb (20,90).

The men’s 400m was keenly contested with Elvis Gaseb taking gold in 46,78 seconds, followed by Elton Hoeseb a split second behind in 46,79, and Ezra Nakale third in 47,49, while national record holder Mahhad Bock could only come sixth in 49,74. 

Tuuliki Angala won the women’s 400m in 57,82 seconds, followed by Kazaatjo Kambiri (58,09) and Perpetua Simataa (58,32), while David Dam won the men’s 800m in 1:51,48, followed by Mathew Angula (1:51,71) and Nasimane Shigwedha (1:54,54).

The Quinton Steele Botes Athletics Club dominated the club competition, winning with 178 points, while Unam Athletics Club came second on 78 and Tsaraxa-Aibes Athletics Club third on 54 points.

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