There is a buzz in athletics that Beatrice Masilingi is not just the next Frank Fredricks but is potentially one of the best athletes in the country.
Born in the Zambezi region and raised in Rundu, Masilingi rose to stardom after she dominated the 400m race with a time of 50.99 seconds, an African Under-18 record at Continental Tour Gold in Nairobi, Kenya. “I have always been passionate about sports, especially rugby and athletics, since I was 8-years-old – and I only got the opportunity to compete nationally when I was 15,” explained the tenth grader at Agri college in Grootfontein.
Last year, she broke grounds when she won gold in both the 400m and 200m events – and it is evident the 17-year-old Masilingi is thrust with greatness. As the father of literature, William Shakespeare, once said, “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them”.
She said, “I want to become the best at what I do and represent my country so well. I want to take athletics as a hobby and career at the same time. I want to be an athlete for as long as I can.”
Asked about her goals after high school, Masilingi would like to study Physiotherapy and also continue shining at the world’s athletics competitions.
Although she also loves rugby, she had to drop it and focus on athletics.
Giving her opinion sport in the country, Masilingi believes Namibia might not be where it is supposed to be in terms of performances; however, she sees potential in the future of sport.
Masilingi is the top-ranked 400m African athlete in the world and she will have to qualify for the 2021 Olympics after the qualifying period was postponed from 1 December 2020 to 29 June 2021.
“Our main goal at the moment is to make sure she qualifies for the Olympics; we are targeting to be at 51 seconds by the end of the year – and in two years, we are planning to be below 40 seconds,” said Masilingi’s coach and manager Henk Botha.