Masilingi, Mboma preparing ahead of Olympics

• By Michael Uugwanga

COACH of Namibia’s top young sprinters Beatrice Masilingi and Christine Mboma has said that he will make sure that the two young athletes are well prepared for the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games despite the big challenge ahead of them.

Henk Botha said this in an interview with Confidente Sport, after the two athletes qualified to the prestigious Games.

Both athletes are 17, with Masilingi expected to be competing in the 200m and 400m, while Mboma will be competing in the 400m and 800m heat.

Although Botha is aware that the two athletes will be under tremendous pressure to make a mark for themselves, he however said that the aim of the Olympic Games for the athletes would be experience as the two athletes have bright futures ahead of them.

“Yes this may be a challenge, but that is my job to prepare them and give them guidance and to make sure that this is part of growing and not only to focus on winning.

“For me as a coach I do not focus on chasing records or medals, which may sound crazy, but coaches focus on how to reach the best level the athlete can get to. If that turns out to be a record or a medal we will celebrate it, therefore we never talk about medals or records,” said Botha.

“I am currently preparing Beatrice for the 200 and 400 and Christine for the 400 and 800m.”

With talks that there is a possibility that athletes will be asked to get the Covid-19 vaccine as a preventative measure against the infectious disease, Botha thus said that he does not have a problem with athletes being vaccinated. He also paid tribute to the support Masilingi and Mboma continues to receive from the Namibian public.

“Yes let’s get vaccinated and go on with our lives. We did get lots of support (from the media), thank you for the positive attitude,” said Botha.

The two youngsters are following in the footsteps of Frank Fredericks who is the only Namibian from the able-bodied category to win Olympic medals.

Fredericks managed to win four silver medals; two silver medals at the 1992 Barcelona, Spain Games and two silver medals at the 1996 Atlanta, USA Games.

The rescheduled Olympic Games are set to take place in Tokyo, Japan from July 23 to August 8 2021.