BEATRICE Masilingi was once again in superb form when she won the 200m and 400m at the Athletics Gauteng North Covid 19 League in Pretoria over the weekend.
The 17-year-old Namibian sensation won both events in new national record times, while her 400m time was the fastest in the world this year. She also broke the qualifying times for the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games in both events. According to her coach Henk Botha, her Olympic participation still has to be verified but given her form of late there is little doubt that she can already start packing her bags for Tokyo.
Masilingi won the 400m in a blistering 50,42 seconds which beat the previous best time in the world this year of 50,50 seconds which was set by Lynna Irby of the United States in Monaco in August.
It was the second time in two months that Masilingi had taken the athletics world by storm after she won the 400m at the Kip Keino Classic in Nairobi on 3 October in 50,99 seconds, which is presently the fifth fastest time in the world this year.
Both her times comfortably beat the Olympic qualifying time of 51,35 seconds, but according to Botha her participation at the Olympic Games still needs to be confirmed.
In Pretoria, Masilingi also won the 200m in a new national record time of 22,71 seconds which broke Globine Mayova’s previous national record time of 23,34 seconds.
It was the 12th fastest 200m time in the world this year and also within the Olympic Games qualifying time of 22,80 seconds.
“We went to see whether we could get an Olympic Games qualifying time and now we just have to verify whether this will be enough. If not, we will search for more competitions and see if we can qualify as soon as possible so that we can start with our preparations. I’ll have a phone call with the Namibian Olympic Committee on Monday to discuss the way forward,” he said.
Several other young Namibian athletes also shone at the meeting in their age group categories.
Christine Mboma won two gold medals in the girls u18 category in the 400m in a time of 51,78 seconds and the 800m in 2:08,70.
Karlien Botha won gold in the discus and bronze in the shot put; Ivan Danny Geldenhuys won gold in the 200m and 400m; and Ludwig Huber won gold in the discus and silver in the javelin for u20 boys.