Mboma collecting silverware around the world

Namibia’s 18-year-old track and field star Christine Mboma has so far recorded 11 victories in the 200-metre event. She has set an under-20 world record as well as a personal best (PB) of 21.78 seconds. She is the first Namibian woman ever to win an Olympic medal, and the country’s...

22 September 2021 | Sports

LIMBA MUPETAMI

WINDHOEK

Christine Mboma has been unstoppable. Here, Namibian Sun highlights the teenager’s success over the years since taking to the track.

Mboma took up athletics in 2017. She started getting recognition in May 2019, when at the age of 16 she won gold in the 800 and 1500 m events at the Cossasa Games in Manzini, Eswatini.

· In July, at the Southern Africa Championships in Moka, Mauritius, she won a bronze medal in the 800 m, clocking 2:17.11.

· In November 2020, the athlete won gold medals in the 800 and 1500 m races at the Namibian Championships in Windhoek.

· On 9 December, she won the 400 and 800 m events in Pretoria, South Africa; in the former distance she set her personal best of 51.81 seconds. Then she went on to clock a time of 51.57 seconds at the Namibian Youth Games in Windhoek on 17 December.

· The following year, on 27 March 2021, Mboma improved to 50.97 seconds and won the 400 m race at the Grand Prix Meet in Oshakati, Namibia.

· On 11 April, at the All Comers Meet in Lusaka, Zambia, she massively lowered her PB to 49.24 seconds in the 400 m. She set the Namibian senior and unofficial world under-20 record, breaking previous world under-20 record mark of 49.42 seconds, which was set in 1991 by Gritt Breuer.

· A week later on 17 April, at the Namibian Championships in Windhoek, Mboma stopped the clock at 49.22 seconds.

· The next day, in the women's 4x100 m relay, Mboma set a Namibian record at 44.78 seconds.

· On 7 June, Mboma went on to set a new PB, Namibian and a meet record of 22.67 seconds in the 200 m at the Josef Odložil Memorial in Prague to take a gold medal. Her time also beat the Olympic qualification standard of 22.80.

• On 30 June, Mboma set an African senior and new world U-20 record in the 400 m, lowering her PB even further. She timed 48.54 seconds to break the 49.10 seconds set in 1996 by Nigeria’s Falilat Ogunkoya-Osheku, thus winning the Irena Szewinska Memorial in Bydgoszcz, Poland, and becoming the seventh fastest woman of all time in the event with the 12th fastest result ever.

• Soon after, she was controversially withdrawn from the 400 m race at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by World Athletics. She readjusted her training, focusing her attention to her “second-best” event. Despite considerably lower expectations, Mboma won her heat (22.11, PB), finished second behind Elaine Thompson-Herah in the semi-final (21.97, PB, U-20 WR) and went on to win a sensational and historic silver in the 200 m final on 3 August (21.81, PB, U-20WR), coming in 0.28 seconds behind Jamaican Elaine Thompson-Herah.

· On 3 September, she went on to compete at the Diamond League, which was her debut in Brussels, Belgium, winning in a time of 21.84 seconds.

· She then went to compete in the final Diamond League race on 10 September in Zurich, Switzerland. She won the 200 m event improving her own world U-20 and national record to 21.78 seconds.

· On 14 September, at the Boris Hanzekovic Memorial, a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting, in Zagreb, Croatia, Mboma crossed the line in 22.04 seconds, breaking American Allison Felix’s record which had been standing since 2012, thus setting a new meet record.

· On 18 September, she competed in Kenya at the Kip Keino Classic, winning the race in 22.39 seconds, completing a fairy-tale season.

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