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Masilingi hopes to qualify for Paris Olympics 

2024-03-27  Limba Mupetami

Masilingi hopes to qualify for Paris Olympics 

Namibian sprinter Beatrice Masilingi is looking forward to competing in track and field meets in May to qualify for this year’s Paris Olympic Games. 

Masilingi, who is currently in the country, said she might be travelling to America soon for a training programme that also presents opportunities to compete in meets, with the hope of qualifying for the prestigious games which are slated for 26 July to 11 August.

The 20-year-old sprinter, who was previously signed to South African-based Agency Newton Sports Agency, is now signed to American agency CLD Sports Global.

She has been training to compete in the 200 metres (m). 

In 2021, a week before the Tokyo Olympic Games, World Athletics (WA) barred her and compatriot Christine Mboma from competing in events between 400m and one mile unless they agreed to take drugs to lower their natural testosterone. 

The pair competed in the 200m at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which saw Masilingi finish sixth. Mboma took silver.

But in March 2023, the WA again announced that female athletes with differences in sexual development (DSD), resulting in high naturally occurring levels of testosterone, will need to reduce their amount of blood testosterone to below 2.5 nanomoles per litre - half of the previously accepted level of five nanomoles - for a minimum of 24 months.

Others affected by the new DSD regulations include South Africa’s double 800m Olympic and world champion Caster Semenya and Burundi’s Francine Niyonsaba, who was runner-up to Semenya in the Rio 2016 800m final.

The sprinter said she successfully lowered her testosterone levels in December last year and her team then sent the blood samples to WA as per requirement to compete in the 400m.

After the samples are sent, the athlete must wait six months before they can compete in the 400m.

 “I have for the past months only been training for the 200m. I might only compete in the 400m next year because I don’t want to change or switch training regimes now and to risk anything, especially at this time when the body is already going through so much,” she said.

Asked to elaborate, she said she is always out of energy and must push herself a little more than usual.

Masilingi has so far won silver medals in both the 100 and 200m at the 2021 World U/20 Championships.

The athlete achieved in the 400m the second-fastest world U/18 time, and the third-fastest world U/20 time in history, with her times of 50.42 and 49.53 seconds set in December 2020 and April 2021, respectively.


2024-03-27  Limba Mupetami

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