Mboma, Masilingi, Johannes up for Olympic action
By Michael Uugwanga
THE country’s top athletes, sprinters Beatrice Masilingi and Christine Mboma, marathon runner Helalia Johannes and swimmer Phillip Seidler will only start with their Olympic campaigns next week; however boxer Jonas Junias Jonas awaits Australian boxer Harry Garside in the second round of the lightweight division tomorrow.
Jonas will head into the bout against Garside as the favourite, having won gold at the Commonwealth Games in Australia in 2018, which he followed up with another gold medal in Ukraine at the International Manger Memorial Tournament in April this year.
The quarter finals of the men’s lightweight title are set for August 3 while the semi finals are on August 6 and final on August 8.
The Tokyo Olympic Games officially started on July 23 and will end on August 8, the same day long distance runner Reinhold Thomas will only be in action.
Masilingi (18) will be making her debut at the Olympics and is currently regarded as one of the best sprinters in the world with multiple individual records including a national record in the 200m of 22.65.
Masilingi will only be competing in the 200m after she was withdrawn from the 400m heat due to alleged high testosterone by World Athletics.
Mboma also 18, is the seventh fastest woman of all time in the 400m, after she broke the world record in April this year with a time of 49.24 seconds in Lusaka; and set the Namibian senior and unofficial world under-20 record, breaking the previous record mark of 49.42, which was set in 1991 by Gritt Breuer of Germany.
Like Masilingi, Mboma is only competing in the 200m after she was also withdrawn from the 400m. Both Masilingi and Mboma will be in action on Monday in the semi-finals for a place in the final that will take place the following day on Tuesday.
Johannes, who made history in 2019 by becoming the first Namibian female marathon runner to win a medal at the World Athletics Championships, after she came in third place in Doha, just a year after winning a gold medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, will be in action on August 8.
Johannes set a lifetime best of 2:19:52 in Valencia in December and is now tipped to win a medal for Namibia at the Olympics, even though she has to beat rival Peres Jepchirchir, the winner of the Valencia marathon with a time of 2:17:16.
Top long distance swimmer, Seidler will be competing in the 10km men’s final heat on August 5.
Seidler’s last result is a 25th place finish during the Olympics qualification tournament marathon swim held in Portugal in June.