Contrary to hyped media reports, organisers of the recent Wanda Stockholm Diamond League this week cleared the air around Beatrice Masilingi’s finishing spot in the 200m race, saying the Namibian sprinter remains a bronze medallist.
The 18-year-old Masilingi clocked a time of 22.65 seconds to finish third after Shericka Jackson of Jamaica, who won the race in a time of 22.10
Marie-Josée Ta Lou of Ivory Coast clocked 22.36 seconds to end second.
Initially, Ta Lou left her starting blocks before everyone else and the race had to be restarted.
Soon after that race, social media was abuzz with news that Ta Lou was disqualified and that Masilingi was awarded the silver medal.
In a recent interview with New Era Sport, organisers of that athletics meeting said the results remain as is: Ta Lou finished in second position – ahead of Masilingi.
“Great to hear that there is a big interest in athletics in your country and that you have been following the Wanda Diamond League Stockholm. The result lists on the website is accurate, which means that Marie-Josée Ta Lou still is on the silver spot in the 200m race and no official disqualifications have been made,” said the organisers.
On his part, Masilingi’s coach and trainer Henk Botha said the organisers have reached out to him to inform him about the confusion.
He said Ta Lou appealed after the decision was taken to disqualify her. “Yes, I know about Ta Lou being disqualified as a silver medallist, but the girl went on to appeal against the decision of her getting disqualified. But after thoroughly going through the decision, the decision was later withdrawn, which sees her finish as a silver medallist,” Botha explained.
Erwin Naimhwaka, president of Athletics Namibia, declined to comment, saying the issue was already clear.
Meanwhile, Masilingi will be competing in the 200m race at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which starts on Friday, and chances are great that she will run against the same athletes.