Namibia: Mboma Completes Golden Season

20 September 2021

CHRISTINE Mboma completed an incredible season with another victory on Saturday when she won the women's 200m at the Kip Keino Classic in Nairobi in 22,39 seconds.

It completed a fairytale season during which she won an Olympic silver medal, a Junior World Championship gold medal, and two Diamond League races, the last one in Zurich in a new u20 world record of 21,78 seconds.

On Saturday her time was not that great, but under the circumstances it was still a very good performance.

The race was delayed by 20 minutes after the starter gun didn't work and they had to restart the race three times, before it finally got underway when a different starter gun was used.

Marie-Josee Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast had the best start and going into the final 100m she held a slight lead over Mboma.

The Namibian, however, picked up the tempo over the home stretch, drawing level with Ta Lou before surging ahead with 50m to go to win by at least five metres, with Ta Lou coming second in 22,97 and Aminatou Seyni of Niger third in 23,32.

Mboma's coach Henk Botha said there was no pressure on Mboma.

"We just told Christine to go out there and have fun, and just enjoy her last race, so there was no pressure and nothing was expected of her. But obviously Christine's enjoyment is winning and she duly won her race and she did quite well if you take conditions into account, with the start gun not working," he said, adding that Mboma was a big star in Kenya.

"Christine is loved here in Kenya, the people are crazy about her, they cheered her during the race, and everybody just wanted to touch her and have a piece of her, have a photo with her or her signature. Everyone is just carrying her on their hands and she is loved and in the hearts of the Kenyan people and therefore we are very thankful," he said.

"Just looking back on this whole season, sometimes I still wonder when I'll wake up, it's been a wonderful experience and what an honour to be part of it," he added.

Beatrice Masilingi did not compete after earlier suffering from flu and Botha said it was a pity that she could not compete.

"Beatrice, although she didn't run the last two events, also had an excellent season and I would have loved to see them running together here in Kenya and I'm sure Beatrice would have given Christine a go for her money, but unfortunately that was not meant to be."

Besides their activities on the track, the athletes also had a bit of time for socialising as they were invited to a dance function on Saturday evening and a safari drive yesterday morning, according to Botha.

"Last night the event organisers had a nice function here for the athletes, they had a roof top dance and the athletes had a good time. Christine looked like a princess when she went there, and she was the star of the show in my heart, although I'm sure all the other coaches will feel the same about their athletes," he said.

"Early this morning Christine and one of the South African athletes Sinesipho Dambile, who also ran the 200m, went on a safari trip on one of the big game ranches here and she thoroughly enjoyed it," he added.

Botha thanked everyone who had assisted them on their journey, from the Namibian President, down to the 'smallest little sms'.'

"I got so many requests from people all around the country who asked me to coach them and I'm so honoured for people trusting me to do that. I even got a request from a guy up north who wants me to coach him to be a stand-up comic! Obviously that is not my forté, but thank you for the honour and respect that you guys have given us and for the way that we are being received in Namibia. I'm so honoured and proud to be part of this whole journey and thank you very much everyone for being there for us," he said.

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