Mboma, Masilingi AUSC absence explained

• By Michael Uugwanga in Maseru, Lesotho

COACH of Olympic female runners, Christine Mboma and Beatrice Masilingi, has explained as to why the two teenage sensations are not part of the ongoing Africa Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 Youth Games in Maseru, Lesotho, even though the two sprinters are eligible for the tournament.

Henk Botha told Confidente Sport this week that the reason why the girls are not partaking in the games is because they are now professional athletes and are busy preparing for the forthcoming athletic season next year.

“Unfortunately the girls have an international season ahead of them because they are professional athletes now and the season was long.

The girls cannot do a lot of pre-seasons now like the youth games (Region 5), however they might do one or two grand prix in Namibia.

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“But the real reason why they are not at AUSC Region 5 Youth Games is because they are turning 19 next year and the current Namibian team at the youth games I believe they are 17 years (of age), so it is a very young team.”

Botha added: “The girls are now focusing on the international season which starts in May 2022 and runs through August to September, so if we start off with this competition (AUSC Region Five Youth Games) then the girls will get exhausted before the international games,” said Botha.

AUSC Region 5 Youth Games competition is for athletes under the age of 20, with Namibia having a team that comprises of seven sport codes, namely athletics (able-bodied and disability), volleyball, tennis, swimming, boxing, football.

The Youth Games started on December 3 and will end on December 12.

Mboma won silver in the 200 metres at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo this year, becoming the first ever Namibian woman to win a women’s Olympic medal, while Masilingi took fifth place.

Prior to the games, World Athletics (WA) had announced that both sprinters would not be allowed to compete under the female classification in certain events due to WA regulations on XY DSD athletes with naturally high testosterone levels.

Mboma also set an unratified African senior and world under-20 record in the 400 metres, which made her the seventh fastest woman of all time at the event with the 12th fastest result ever. The mark was established at the Continental Tour Gold meeting in June.

Mboma also won a gold medal in the women’s 200m at the U-20 World Championships that was held in Nairobi, Kenya this year, while Masilingi took two silver medals in both the 200m and 100m.

In April Masilingi ran 49.53 s in the 400 metres, an unofficial third-fastest world under-20 time in history.

Botha who was awarded with the best coach of the year at the MTC/Namibia Sports Award (NASA) in October, also said that Mboma and Masilingi have been hard in training and are expected to compete in May next year when the international athletics calendar starts.