New Era Newspaper

New Era Epaper
Icon Collap
Home / We tried every trick to no avail – Botha… Mboma shifts focus to rebuilding for future

We tried every trick to no avail – Botha… Mboma shifts focus to rebuilding for future

2024-06-27  Limba Mupetami

We tried every trick to no avail – Botha… Mboma shifts focus to rebuilding for future

As the African Athletics Championships in Douala, Cameroon ended, Namibian coach Henk Botha expressed disappointment after extensive efforts to get Christine Mboma qualify for the Paris Olympic Games failed.

Mboma’s Olympic aspirations were dashed when she had to pull out halfway through the 100-metre semi-final race, finishing eighth with a time of 12.06 seconds, thus missing qualification for the final. 

She then competed in the women’s 200m, running 24.12 seconds in the heats and finishing fourth. Despite being on the fastest non-automatic qualifiers’ list, her time was insufficient to secure a spot in the final.

Botha shared his relentless efforts to help Mboma regain her form, including getting a psychologist to boost her confidence. 

“I gave it everything I had, and even sought advice on how to get her back on track. Despite showing great speed, her fitness and physique were not there yet. We won’t be discouraged; we will keep working hard,” he stated.

Looking ahead, Botha highlighted the upcoming World Championships next year as a new focus for Mboma. “She still has a bright career ahead, along with Beatrice Masilingi. We will keep fighting and show the world that Mboma is back,” he vowed.

He emphasised the importance of psychological support in rebuilding Mboma’s confidence. “This is not the end. It’s just one of those challenges we are used to facing. We will overcome this obstacle,” he said.

Mboma’s struggles began with a temporary suspension by World Athletics in 2023, affecting her and other athletes with Differences in Sex Development (DSD). New regulations required them to lower their higher-than-usual testosterone levels to compete in events between 100 and 200 metres. 

While Mboma complied with the treatments, Botha noted that the hormone therapy led to quick fatigue, impacting on her performance.

Mboma’s compatriot, Beatrice Masilingi, who is undergoing the same hormone treatment, has also reported experiencing fatigue recently. Despite these challenges, Botha remains optimistic about the future, focusing on getting both athletes back to their best form. 

While Mboma and Masilingi will miss the prestigious Olympic Games in Paris, four other Namibian athletes have already qualified for the event. These are marathon runner Helalia Johannes, swimmer Phillip Seidler, and cyclists Vera Looser and Alex Miller.

2024-06-27  Limba Mupetami

Share on social media