Botha optimistic on Mboma’s qualification for Paris Olympic Games

WINDHOEK: Coach Henk Botha, the trainer of Namibia’s 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games silver medallist in the women’s 200-metre (m) sprint expressed hope to see Christine Mboma qualifying for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

World Athletics banned Namibia’s sensational female sprinter Mboma from athletics in April 2023 due to her high testosterone levels.

The governing body announced that female athletes with differences in sexual development, resulting in naturally occurring high testosterone levels, would need to reduce their blood testosterone to below 2.5 nanomoles per litre (nmol/l) for a minimum of 24 months to be eligible to compete again.

However, in November 2023, World Athletics approved Mboma to compete in the 100m and 200m events, but not in the 400m, 800m, and 1 500m. Since then, Botha and Mboma have been training hard to prepare for the 2024 athletics season.

Botha in a recent interview, told Nampa that their first competition for the year would hopefully be in Europe in April, as Mboma would be eligib
le to run at that time.

‘Despite the hard training we have been going through, Mboma is not yet at her competitive best, but we are hopeful that she will be ready to compete come April,’ he said.

The coach added that there is pressure on them to qualify for the Olympics as the nation has high expectations, noting that achieving this goal would not be easy.

‘We are optimistic about our chances of qualifying when we start with competitive athletics and we would like this to be done earlier so it gives us enough time to prepare for the games,’ said Botha.

Over 1,800 athletes, both men and women, will be competing for qualification for the 48 medal events (25 in track, five in road – marathon and racewalking, 16 in the field, and two in combined) at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

The qualification window for the marathon races started from 01 November 2022 to 30 April 2024; for the 10,000 metres, combined events (heptathlon and decathlon), racewalks, and relays from 31 December 2022 to 30 June 2024; while the
remaining athletics events started from 01 July 2023 to 30 June 2024.

Mboma would need to clock 22.57 seconds in the 200m and 11.07 seconds in the 100m to reach the qualifying standards for this year’s Olympic Games.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency