Namibian sprinter Mboma to launch comeback in Kenya

Christine Mboma in action. File photo

Namibian Olympic 200m silver medallist Christine Mboma will launch her track comeback at the Kip Keino Classic in Kenya on April 20 after a 20-month absence, organisers said Thursday.

Mboma, who became Namibia’s first female Olympic medallist in Tokyo in 2021, has not competed since winning a 200m bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in August 2022.

She will take part in the 100m.

Mboma, 20, is one of the female athletics classed as having “differences in sexual development (DSD)”.

Under the World Athletics rules in place in 2021 she was permitted to run 200m but not her preferred distance of 400m.

In 2023, the international federation amended the regulations, ruling that all athletes with DSD cannot compete in female sport unless they reduce their high testosterone levels for a minimum of six months and in some cases 24 months.

World Athletics also removed the principle of restricted events for DSD athletes, meaning the regulations now cover all distances.

Mboma said last year she was taking the testosterone-lowering medication.

Mboma suffered an injury which hampered her 2022 season.

“We are excited to have Christine Mboma back in Nairobi for the meeting after what happened to her here the last time when she pulled her hamstring,” Kip Keino meet director Barnaba Korir told AFP.

The event, part of the second-tier World Athletics Continental Tour, also features Kenya’s African 100m record holder Ferdinand Omanyala against American Kenny Bednarek, the Olympic 200m silver medallist in Tokyo.

Fellow Kenyan 100m specialist Mark Otieno will also be returning to international competition after a two-year suspension for doping expired in November.

Omanyala set an African best of 9.77sec at the Kip Keino in 2022 and said he was eagerly awaiting his first 100m of the season.

“I don’t want to promise a fast time but I am ready for another year of epic athletics showdown,” said Omanyala, who finished seventh in the Budapest world championships 100m final in August.

Kenya’s Mary Moraa, who won the world title in Budapest last year, said she is hoping for a personal best in her first 800m race of the season.

The 23-year-old will face Uganda’s 2019 world champion Halimah Nakaayi, with the Paris Olympics firmly in her sights.

“I have been running the 400m to gain speed for the longer race. I am targeting to run a personal best 1min 56sec in the 800m before the Olympics,” said Moraa.

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