Windhoek, Aug 4 – Yesterday the Honourable McHenry Venaani watched on, gleaming with pride as Namibian Olympians Christine Mboma and Beatrice Masilingi crossed the 200m final finish line. This marked a historical moment in Namibia’s history as these two teenage Olympians carried the hope of an entire nation as they completed their races.
Christine Mboma secured a silver medal, marking not only Namibia’s first medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics but also the first for a Namibian woman in the 200m event. The Honourable McHenry Venaani was beyond elated to witness Christine Mboma receive Namibia’s first medal since 1996, ending a 24-year drought. Christine further set a World Under-20 Record, clocking in at a time of 21.81. This is an extremely commendable and impressive feat.
Beatrice Masilingi ended the race in 6th place, giving experienced sprinters from countries such as Jamaica and the United States quite the run for their money. Beatrice further set a new Personal Best, clocking in at a time of 22.28.
The Honourable McHenry Venaani extends his heartiest congratulations to these two sprinting superstars. By winning Namibia’s first Olympic Medal since 1996, Christine has set a new precedent in the athletics fraternity in Namibia and the rest of the world. The Honourable Venaani lauds Christine for setting a new yardstick of excellence and dedication. The Honourable Venaani has remarked that this achievement is undoubtedly the well-deserved reward for her hard work and training.
While Christine and Beatrice were robbed of potentially shattering even more glass ceilings in the 400m event, due to discriminatory rules and restrictions by World Athletics, they did not let the disappointment consume them. They dug deep and displayed great resilience and character. This is a testament to the unwavering Namibian spirit to rise above all odds. This is the Namibian spirit that was clear for the world to see in each of their races. Christine and Beatrice have performed with grit and the highest level of discipline. To simply qualify for the Olympics is one of the greatest achievements one can attain in this lifetime, but to consistently perform at a level par excellence is almost unattainable for most, not to mention at their first Olympics appearances.
Christine and Beatrice have in the truest sense mirrored the Namibian spirit of excellence. The work ethic, the desire to give their all on the track and their love for the country were second to none.
Equally, the Honourable Venaani wishes to extend his heartfelt gratitude to Coach Henk Botha and the rest of the team who worked tirelessly behind the scenes. Coach Botha’s belief and support of these girls has resulted in a tremendous victory for this country. Coach Botha’s words of encouragement and work behind the scenes have greatly contributed to the performances of Beatrice and Christine. Coach Botha has moulded the future of Namibian Athletics. The nation is greatly indebted to Coach Botha and his team.
In the wake of the sombre and solemn mood that has set itself over our country, we were desperately in need of something to lift our spirits and yesterday, for twenty seconds, Namibia came together as one and held our breaths collectively as we watched our girls shoot out of the starting blocks. The result of Christine’s victory was a country united in elation and jubilation as her name rang out in every street of this country. The Honourable Venaani thanks Christine and Beatrice for reminding us that despite how dark the day may seem, the sun shall rise again.
As the country continues to rejoice in Christine’s victory, Honourable Venaani highlights the importance of the government committing itself to support the sports fraternity. Namibia has regularly produced world-class athletes and the necessary investment into sporting infrastructure can propel Namibia forward and truly establish this country as a force to be reckoned with on the international stage.
In the same vein, Honourable Venaani would like to wish the very best of luck to all the Namibian athletes that still have to compete at the Olympics. Honourable Venaani is beyond confident that their performances will make the nation proud.