One of Namibia’s fast-emerging sprinters, Beatrice Masilingi, and her coach Henk Botha yesterday left for Johannesburg, South Africa, where the young Namibian sprint ace will be in action this morning at the Athletix Invitational Meet.
Speaking to New Era Sport before their departure, Botha said Masilingi is well prepared and ready to leave her mark at the competition, which will see her compete in the 400m event along with top stars from neighbouring Botswana and host South Africa.
Masilingi, who has already qualified for this year’s Tokyo Olympic Games, received an invite from Athletics South Africa (ASA) and coach Botha plans to use the competition as an added opportunity for the budding sprinter to sharpen her edges ahead of the Olympics.
“It is a high-quality event; Masilingi will be competing with some good athletes from Botswana and South Africa. We are ready and prepared for this competition and we are going for a win, although anything can happen in the world of sport. I believe she has prepared well enough to bring home a medal,” said a confident Botha.
Masilingi has, since her arrival, set the local athletics scene alight with an assortment of remarkable times, including her breathtaking performances at both the 2019 African Games in Morocco and Athletics Championships of Southern Africa in Mauritius, where she recorded impressive times in the 400m and 200m events.
Last year, Masilingi tumbled Sudan’s Nawal El Jack long-standing record time of 51.19 seconds when she destroyed a strong field of competitors to win the 400m in an astonishing time of 50. 99 seconds at the popular Kip Keino Classic in Kenya.
Meanwhile, Masilingi’s stablemate at the renowned Quinton-Steele Botes, the 17-year old Christine Mboma, over the weekend delivered a scintillating performance at the third leg of the Athletics Namibia Grand Prix in Oshakati, where she improved her previous time of 51.59 to a new tie of 50.91 seconds in the 400m race.
Mboma, also coached by Botha, will have her time of 50.91 seconds ratified by the Namibia National Olympic Committee (NNOC) in consultation with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) – and thereafter, it will be confirmed if she has qualified or not. On Mboma, Botha said: “She ran the qualifying time and it’s now up to the NNOC and IAAF to ratify her time so that she will be approved to qualify.”