Henk Botha, one of Namibia’s veteran athletics coaches and mentor to two of the country’s foremost sprinting aces Beatrice Masilingi and Christine Mboma, says the overall performance of the two runners can only get better and bigger ahead of this month’s Olympic Games in Japan.
He was speaking to this publication after Tuesday night’s Spitzen Leichtathletik Meeting in Lucerne, Switzerland, where 18-year-old Masilingi delivered another superlative performance to win gold in the women’s 200m race in an incredible time of 22.67 seconds.
Not only was Masilingi peerless in beating the German pair of Alexandra Burghardt (23.16) and Lisa Marie Kwayie (23.28) to pole position, she did so in fine style as her winning time of 22.67 seconds became a new joint national record, equalling compatriot Mboma, who clocked the same time (22.67 seconds) last month when she scooped gold in the 200m at the Josef Odložil Memorial in Prague.
Tuesday night’s Spitzen Leichtathletik Meeting, which is a World Athletics Continental Tour Silver event, took place at the Allmend Stadium and once again, Masilingi blazed the track to reassure all that she remains well on course for the Olympics set to take place from 23 July until 8 August 2021. Masilingi’s winning time is now also her new personal best (PB).
“Her time was very impressive despite running under harsh weather conditions, so I’m happy,” said Botha.
“Beatrice can get better and faster but I always say running is not just about clocking fast times, it also has to do with good conditioning and other things. But otherwise, I’m really happy with how Beatrice executed our game plan here and to the Olympics, we are all hoping it only gets bigger and better.
“I also want to thank the entire Namibian nation for backing and supporting our girls. It is highly appreciated. Thank you all,” said an awe-struck Botha.
Masilingi is expected run a few more preparation races before heading to Tokyo. The dates and venues of these races are yet to be confirmed.
Masilingi and Mboma, along with marathoners Helalia Johannes and Rainhold Thomas, boxer Jonas Junias Jonas, cyclists Alex Miller, Michelle Voster, Versa Looser and Dan Craven, rower Maike Diekmann and open water swimmer Phillip Seidler have qualified for the Tokyo Olympics.