Namibian speedster and Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Christine Mboma says her unmatched performance at the Brussels Diamond League meeting on Friday was the tip of the iceberg of what the world should expect to see going forward.
The 18-year-old Namibian, who is unable to compete in the 400m up to a mile events due to controversial rules over her so-called elevated natural testosterone levels, continued her sparkling season with victory in the 200m on her Diamond League debut in Brussels on Friday.
Mboma won the race in 21.84 seconds to destroy a star-studded field, which saw Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Shericka Jackson of Jamaica finishing behind her in 21.95 seconds and Britain’s World champion Dina Asher-Smith in third place with 22.04 seconds.
America’s Sha’Carri Richardson came in fourth with a time of 22.45 seconds – just a few nanoseconds ahead of Namibia’s Tokyo Olympics 200m finalist and World U/20 runner-up Beatrice Masilingi, who took fifth place with her time of 22.50 seconds. “I’m really happy with this win because it’s my first Diamond League race. To be able to win in such a strong field is great. It has been a very tough and busy season with the Olympics and the World Junior Championships, but I’m still in good shape,” Mboma told Athletics Weekly after the win.
She, however, avoided commenting on World Athletics’ controversial rules over her testosterone levels, saying after having stepped down from her favourite 400m in Tokyo, the 200m has now become her favourite event.
“I’m just doing my best; just see what I can do. In the future, I think I can race faster than that. In the next one or two years, I’ll try the 100m – just to see. I ran almost a personal best today, so that pleases me. I still have one race to go in Zurich.”
Mboma competed in her first race outside Africa with an event in the Czech Republic in June and since then made her debut at the Tokyo Olympics, winning a surprise silver in the 200m before going on to bag the World U/20 title in Nairobi, Kenya.
The Brussels Diamond League, also known as the Allianz Memorial Van Damme, was the penultimate event of the Wanda Diamond League – the circuit of the world’s biggest meetings.
The last leg of the serial athletics meetings is the Zürich Diamond League, slated for 8-9 September in Switzerland, to which both Mboma and Masilingi have also been invited.
The Diamond League awards points to athletes according to the positions at the end of each race. The top eight athletes at each meeting are awarded points (8–7–6–5–4–3–2–1), and these points determine which athletes qualify for the discipline finals in Zürich and Brussels.
The allocation of the overall prize money is determined solely by the results of the final.