Namibian Christine Mboma has broken the 22.04 seconds 200m African record Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare set in Abilene, Texas, USA in March 2018 with a first ever sub 22-seconds performance by an African woman in the event.
The 18-year-old ran a blistering 21.97 seconds to come second in the second semifinal heat of the 200m event at the ongoing Tokyo 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan to secure the second automatic ticket for Tuesday’s final where she will be running alongside two other Africans, fellow Namibian Beatrice Masilingi and veteran Ivorian, Marie-Jose ta Lou.
Okagbare, who was provisionally suspended on Saturday by the Athletics Integrity Unit after testing positive to a human growth hormone would have competed in the 200m at the games.
She had broken fellow countrywoman Mary Onyali’s 22.07 seconds record set 25 years ago at the Weltklasse meeting in Zuric, Switzerland.
The 32-year-old came close to equaling her own record in 2019 but stopped just one hundredth of a second outside the 22.04 seconds she ran a year earlier.
Okagbare had hoped to be the first African woman to break the 22 seconds barrier after her 10.79 seconds performance in the 100m in July 2013