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Mboma, Masilingi make history in Nairobi

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Christine Mboma and Beatrice Masilingi made more history for Namibia today, as they claimed unprecedented gold and silver medals in the women’s 200-metre race at the World Athletics Under 20 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya.

Mboma added the u20 world title to her Olympic silver, winning the thrilling final race in a new championship record of 21,84 seconds, with Masilingi second in a personal best time of 22,18 seconds. Nigerias’s Gloria Ofili took bronze in a new Nigerian u20 record of 22,23 seconds.

Mboma’s victory was reminiscent of her breathtaking run at the Tokyo Olympic Games, when she moved through the gears to storm past six athletes and claim silver.

Masilingi ended sixth in that race.

Mboma’s winning time in Nairobi was just 0,03 seconds outside her personal best and her own u20 world record from that epic final in Tokyo.

Namibia has never had more than one athlete on the same podium at a global athletics championship, just as the country never before had a female athlete in an Olympic sprint.

The 18-year-old history-making duo made their intentions clear after cruising through the heats and both breaking the old championship record to reach the final.

Masilingi made the best start, shooting out of the blocks and leading by the 100-metre mark, followed closely by Ofili.

However, once slow-starting Mboma got into her running, there was only one outcome. The new world champion hauled her rivals in with about 70 metres to the tape and accelerated away to victory.

Masilingi claimed her second silver at the championships, following her second-place finish in yesterday’s 100-metre final.

The terrific turbo teens again take to the track tomorrow afternoon for the 4x100m final.

Also part of the relay team are Ndawana Haitembu, Carien Oosthuizen and Nandi Vass.

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