Tokyo Olympics silver medallist and Diamond League champion Christine Mboma has attracted the spotlight in the past few months, including finishing the current season ranked number one by World Athletics. However, back home, a younger Mboma has shown glimpses of potential and according to her handlers, a bright future beckons.
The 15-year-old Frankilde Mboma is already being touted as the next big thing after her older sibling, who is currently basking in the glory of her maiden international season. Frankilde missed out on a chance to introduce herself on the world stage after failing to travel with Team Namibia for the inaugural U/15 World School Sport Games in Belgrade, Serbia due to insufficient national documents.
Kavango East-based sports officer Erastus Someno yesterday told New Era Sport Frankilde is definitely one for the future. “The future looks bright. She is taking part in all these inter-house competitions and is dominating,” he said.
According to the sports officer, the lack of national documents is standing in the way of the young athlete to compete at national events. Frankilde only has in her possession a baptism card and has no birth or national identity documents.
“I have taken the matter into my own hands to try and secure national documents for her. I am just waiting for her uncle Joseph Mboma to provide us with the necessary documents in order to apply for national documents. We will probably have them next week,” he said.
Frankilde caught the eye of regional coaches in 2019 while a learner at Shinyungwe Combined School, which is close to her home village Mbwata.
“We discovered her in 2019 while she was competing at school, but due to the lack of sufficient documents, she was only making rounds at her school,” he said.
Christine’s coach Henk Botha has not seen Frankilde run yet, but was informed that she has potential as a sprinter.
“I have not seen her run, but I have spoken to Christine and we will definitely look at whether she is able to run and then take it from there,” Botha said.
Meanwhile, Namibia Sport Commission chief Freddy Mwiya told this reporter Frankilde is believed to be the “next big thing” in Namibia.
He said she is spoken highly of by her teachers and some of the individuals who are currently guiding her.
“Based on the information that I got from people, she is a good prospect. I engaged with her teachers and the sports officer in that region, and they all spoke highly of her. Even from the conversation I had with her, she was positive and looking inspired by what her sister has achieved. We are looking forward to seeing her compete on a national stage,” Mwiya said.
Acting principal of the Shinyungwe Combined School, Manfred Muronga in an earlier interview told New Era the senior Mboma was discovered when she reached grade 9. In the same year, the then 16-year-old Mboma won the 800 metres and 1 500m events at the Cossasa Games in Manzini, Eswatini, before she was snapped up by Botha. The rest, as the saying goes, is history.
In its latest global rankings, World Athletics has ranked Mboma as the number one athlete in the 200m event, finishing well ahead of Olympics double champion Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica.
The 18-year-old Mboma, who recently claimed the 2021 Diamond League and World U/20 Championships 200m crowns, finished top of this season’s world rankings with 1 455 points – and saw Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson finishing in second place with 1 407 points.
Thompson-Herah claimed third place in the 200m rankings after having accumulated 1 406 points. Mboma’s trusted ‘partner in crime’ Beatrice Masilingi, who started the season off on a high but had a somewhat slow finish as a result of ill-health, finished 10th overall in the latest ranking with 1 335 points.
Masilingi, who scooped three silver medals (100m, 200m and 4x100m) at the recent World U/20 Championships, equally made her debut at this year’s Tokyo Olympics and finished 6th overall in the women’s 200m with a personal best time of 22.28 seconds.