Otniel Hembapu & Hesron Kapanga
Namibia’s sprint sensation Christine Mboma on Saturday night said sheer bravery, her love for the country and a need to reassess her recovery at an international event were among the driving forces that propelled her to scoop a bronze medal in the women’s 200m final.
Mboma, the country’s 2020 Tokyo Olympics silver medallist, went into this year’s Commonwealth Games faced with the fear of injuring herself again but she said utter courage and her undying love for the country carried her through as she won her first ever Commonwealth Games medal.
She finished third behind eventual winner Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica, who set a new Games record with her winning time of 22.02, and just some nanoseconds behind second-placed Favour Ofili (22.51) of Nigeria.
“I just had a week to train before these games, and winning a medal means a lot to me, as I am representing my country just after a week of training,” said Mboma, who expressed happiness with her recovery process.
She added before the games, she had thoughts of withdrawing from the whole competition due to her injury; however, after a week of training, she felt it was more important to represent her country as well as assess how far she has recovered.
“Some people might say I just won a bronze but this bronze medal means a lot to me and the people supporting me; plus, my country because when I got injured, a lot was going on in my life – but I managed to overcome all that and focused on competing. Winning a medal in her maiden Commonwealth Games will always be a special memory for any athlete,” she said.
The sprinter also stated she has not fully recovered yet and will take it one step at a time until she reaches full recovery.
“While competing here, I could feel my muscles pulling, but it’s not as painful as when I got injured. I am now going back home to continue with my recovery process.”
After her race, President Hage Geingob took to social media to heap praises on all members of Team Namibia representing the country at the games, especially the athletes who won medals for the country.
“Christine Mboma is a Namibian superstar. To win a bronze medal fresh after nursing an injury is what superstars do. We are proud of you. The spirit of the brave carried Team Namibia at the Commonwealth Games. Congratulations to every team member, and a special shout out to our four bronze medallists: Ananias Shikongo, Alexander Miller, Helalia Johannes and Christine Mboma. Thank you all for carrying our flag high,” twitted the Head of State. Meanwhile, deputy sports minister Emma Kantema-Gaomas also congratulated the Mboma, saying: “Considering your injury and how well you did tonight, you have made the nation exceptionally proud. You are bravely Namibian! Congratulations Christine; I am beaming with pride.”
Also on Saturday night, Namibia’s 5000m runner Daniel Paulus finished 14th out of the 20 athletes who competed in the men’s 5000m run on Saturday night.
Ugandan runner Jacob Kiplimo, who won the 10 000m event earlier this week, collected his second gold medal at the competition.
With the games set to end today, Team Namibia has so far collected four bronze medals and is currently ranked 35th on the medal standing out of the 71 Commonwealth nations competing at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games.
– Adapted from Nampa