Namibian Christine Mboma has smashed the African record after running 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.
Her performance ensured that the 18-year old athlete smashed the 200m African record of 22.04 seconds set by Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare in March 2018 with a first-ever sub-22-seconds performance by an African woman in the event.
Mboma secured 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 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. The 32-year-old Nigerian came close to equaling her own record in 2019.
Okagbare would have competed in the 200m at the games but was provisionally suspended on Saturday by the Athletics Integrity Unit after testing positive to a human growth hormone.