CHRISTINE Mboma is the latest athletics gem to come out of Namibia after she set the world’s fastest 400m time this year in Swakopmund on Saturday.
Mboma, of the Quinton Steele Botes Athletics Club, has been living in the shadow of Beatrice Masilingi over the past year, but on Saturday grabbed the limelight from her compatriot with a brilliant performance at the first leg of Athletics Namibia’s Grand Prix series.
Mboma, who is still only 17 years old, won the women’s 400m in a blistering 51,59 seconds, which is the fastest senior time in the world so far this year, breaking the previous best of 51,61 seconds that Australia’s Bendere Oboya set last weekend.
In the process Mboma easily broke the World Athletics u20 Championships qualifying time of 54,85 seconds, while she is now also within reach of the Olympic Games qualifying time of 51,35 seconds.
Mboma’s time is just outside her personal best of 51,57, that she set in December last year, but it’s still quite a bit off Masilingi’s national record of 50,42 that she set in Pretoria last December, which was also the fastest time in the world in 2020.
Masilingi also competed at the Swakopmund Grand Prix, although not in the 400m, but in the 100m and 200m sprints that she easily won.
She won the 100m in 11,79 seconds, with Jolene Jacobs second in 12,15 and Ndawana Haitembu third in 12,75, while she won the 200m in 23,94, followed by Haitembu in 26,23 and Nandi Vass in 26,96.
Masilingi’s 200m winning time was, however, well off her personal best of 22,71 seconds and the Olympic qualifying time of 22,80 seconds.
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Another athlete who excelled in Swakopmund was the 18-year-old Andre Retief of the Quinton Steele Botes Athletics Club.
Retief won the first heat of the men’s 400m in 49,09 seconds, which improved his previous personal best time of 49,57, although it’s still a way off the World Athletics u20 Championships qualifying time of 47,35.
Mervin Appolus of the Omaruru Athletics Club, who won heat two in 49,97 seconds, and Mahmad Bock of Unam Athletics Club, who won heat five in 49,76 seconds, were the only other athletes to break the 50-second barrier.
Gilbert Hainuca of Welwitchia 77 Athletics Club won the men’s 100m in 10,88 seconds, followed by Elvis Gaseb of Namib Lions (11,08), while Mervin Appolus of Omaruru Athletics Club came third in 11,34 seconds.
Dawid Dam of Omaruru AC won the men’s 1 500m in 4:04,28, followed by Daniel Nghipandulwa (4:04,42) and Uhorera Mavenjono (4:05,19), while Terence Beukes of Omaruru AC won the men’s long jump in 6,36m, followed by Heino Keister (6,33m) and Aston Muksiilonga (6,12m).
Reginald Benade of the Quinton Steele Botes AC won the men’s shot put in 10,10m, fgollowed by Jernarlo Coakley (9,10m) and Ananias Elias (8,85m), while David Ndeilenga of Namibia Correctional Services won the men’s javelin throw in 41,11m, followed by Dwayne Ludwig (36,41m) and Jernarlo Coakley (30,42m).