Beatrice Masilingi, Namibian athlete is competing in the 200 metres sprint of the Tokyo Olympics, and has qualified for the final of the event scheduled on Tuesday 3 August. This is the last option she had to convince herself to accept after the 18-year old and her teammate Christine Mboma, were considered ineligible for the 400m they had trained for due to high levels of testosterone.
The athletes felt very demoralized when the World Athletics announced in July that they could only compete in the women’s 400m race if their testosterone levels were medically reduced within a period of at least six months “in the beginning I was very down, you can’t come and tell me now I am not a woman. That is really frustrating and gets me on my nerves but there’s nothing we can do about it at the moment,” she told BBC Sport Africa.
Being unable to compete in the 400m distance, Masilingi and Christine Mboma started training for the 200m although they had limited time before the start of the competition. The race commenced on Monday 2 August with both athletes finishing second in their respective heats which guaranteed them a place in the final.
Masilingi was one of the favourites in the 400m race after recording the third-fastest time 49.53 seconds, this year. Missing out on her preferred event came as a huge disappointment “obviously, that set us back in a big way. The thing is we had to adjust and try our best and I am so proud of the two girls, the way they are adjusting and the way they are working,” the duo’s coach Henk Botha stated.
The two Namibian athletes, especially Beatrice Masilingi, have said they are very excited to be part of the Tokyo Olympics at just 18 years old, in spite of the misfortune that befell them.