Mboma, Masilingi to headline Diamond League final
By Michael Uugwanga
THE country’s top female sprinters Christine Mboma and Beatrice Masilingi will be competing in the 200m final of the Diamond League in Zürich, Switzerland today, with the two18-year-olds coming up against the likes of Dina Asher-Smith of UK, Shericka Jackson of Jamaica and Marie-Josee Ta Lou of Ivory Coast.
Mboma remains the favourite for the title following her 200m victory in Brussels, Belgium with 21.81 seconds on September 3 in her debut Diamond League meeting. The same applies to her compatriot and friend, Masilingi who only managed a fifth place finish in a time of 22.50 seconds.
The win in Brussels saw Mboma receiving prize money of of US$10 000 (about N$150 000), while Masilingi got US$1 250 about (N$15 000).
The winner of the Diamond League final will receive a trophy plus cash amounting to US$30 000 (about N$420 000).
Speaking to Confidente Sport, coach Henk Botha said the two teenagers are fully focused and ready to run in good spirits.
Mboma and Masilingi caught the eye of international media before the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games for their good showing at major international athletics events in Europe which served as curtain-raisers to the Olympic Games that saw Mboma winning a silver medal in the women’s 200m final that was won by Jamaican icon Elaine Thomson-Herah.
Masilingi took sixth place position.
In Nairobi, Kenya at the U-20 World Athletics Championships last month, Mboma scooped the 200m, while Masilingi came in second place.
“The girls have been in different hotels for protection. They are fully focused, ready and in good spirits. The winner of each event will get a trophy as well cash prize. It will mean a lot for both (Mboma and Masilingi) for their careers. What an achievement and what an excellent season so far, so the guys are good and we are trying to tend to their mental state so that they must stay positive because it is a fairly very long season.
“There will be two races left after this. The two left will be pretty easy for them if I might say that, so we are not going to put too much pressure on them, but for now it is just to focus because this Diamond League final will be the cream of the season,” said Botha.