Mboma the centre of attention this weekend 

Christine Mboma in action. File photo

Christine Mboma will be the centre of attention at Athletics Namibia’s Senior National Championships, which will take place at Windhoek Independence Stadium tomorrow and Saturday.

Mboma’s coach, Henk Botha, yesterday confirmed that she will compete as she tries to reach the qualifying mark for this year’s Paris Olympics.

Mboma had a poor start to the season last weekend when she came eighth in the 100m at the Kip Keino Classic in Nairobi, because she lost concentration when she thought she had pulled a muscle.

“She told me her lane number came off her left thigh, and she then thought her upper muscle went, because she felt something. When she realised this she was in a bit of shock, and then the race went away from her,” Botha said last weekend.

This has derailed Mboma’s plans, and with time and events running out to qualify for this year’s Paris Olympics, she has now entered the national champs, although she will be running in her favoured 200m event only, Botha said.

If she can come close to her best form she should comfortably be able to qualify for the Olympics.

Her Namibian 200m record time of 21,78, which she set in Zurich in 2021, is well within the Olympic qualifying time of 22,57 seconds, while she should also easily reach the qualifying mark of 24 seconds for the Athletics Championships in Cameroon in June.

Apart from Mboma, none of Namibia’s other women athletes who will be in action this weekend have come close to Olympics qualification, while only sprinter Ndawana Haitembu has reached the African 200m qualifying mark of 24 seconds with a time of 23,97.

Namibia’s men athletes also have a long way to go if they hope to qualify for the Olympics.

In the men’s sprints Gilbert Hainuca is the favourite, with the season’s fastest times in both the 100m and 200m.

His 100m time of 10,29 seconds is, however, still outside the African qualifying time of 10,20, and although he has a personal best time of 10,16 seconds which he ran two years ago, it’s unlikely that he will make the Olympic qualifying time of 10 seconds.

In the 200m Hainuca reached the African qualifying time of 21,00 with a time of 20,78 this season, but he is still quite some way off the Olympic mark of 20,16 seconds.

Other sprinters who could come into contention for medals include Elvis Gaseb, Elton Hoeseb, Hatago Murere and Mahhad Bock.

The men’s 400m should see an exciting race, with several athletes in contention of making the African Champs qualifying time of 46,50 seconds.

Elvis Gaseb has reached that mark with the season’s fastest time of 46,10, while Mahhad Bock also reached that mark with a time of 46,30.

Several other athletes are within reach of the African mark, including Elton Hoseb with a season’s best of 46,50, Andre Retief with 46,74, Lutahezi Dux with 46,70, Ivan Geldenhuys with 47,24, and Gift Masahu with a time of 47,30.

Bok set the national record of 45,80 seconds two years ago, but it’s still slightly off the Olympic qualifying time of 45,00.

David Dam is the favourite in the men’s 800m with a season’s best time of 1:47,50, which is just outside the African mark of 1:47,30, and within striking range of Daniel Nghipandulwa’s national record of 1:46,62, although it’s still some way off the Olympic mark of 1:44,70.

In the field events, long jumper Lionel Coetzee, discus thrower Ryan Williams, and shot-putter Cornelius Kuhn have all reached the African mark and will start as favourites, but they are still some way off the Olympics qualifying standard.

Coetzee, has the best chance though, after he broke Stephan Louw’s longstanding Namibian record last year with a jump of 8,27m, which is exactly the same as the Olympics qualifiyng mark.

Williams broke his own Namibian record with a mark of 61,15m two years ago, while he has a personal best of 55,42 this season, which is within the African mark of 53,50m, but quite far from the Olympic mark of 67,20m.

Cornelius Kuhn earlier this year equalled the Namibian shot-put record of 17,10m which is within the African mark of 16,80m, but outside the Olympic mark of 21,50m.

Stay informed with The Namibian – your source for credible journalism. Get in-depth reporting and opinions for only N$85 a month. Invest in journalism, invest in democracy –
Subscribe Now!

Latest News