Christene Mboma has succeeded Falilat Ogunkoya as the African 400m record holder after the 18 year old scorched to a blistering 48.54 seconds at an athletics meeting at the Zdzislaw Krzyszkowiak Stadium in Bydgoszcz, Poland on Wednesday June 30, 2021.
The time is the first sub 49 seconds returned by an African woman dorning the colours of an African nation and seventh fastest of all time.
Mboma’s time seems to have been confirmed by World Athletics after it was listed as the fastest time in the world so far this year and makes the Namibian the huge favourite for the 400m gold at the delayed 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan later this month.
The 18 year’s old feat will however come as a surprise to watchers of the event especially in the continent albeit she served notice of her capabilities last April at a meeting in Zambia and a local championship in Namibia where she ran inside 49.30 twice (49.24 and 49.22 seconds respectively).
Mboma’s incredible performance in Poland is reminiscent of what former Nigeria junior international, Ebelechukwu Agbapuonwu did in the colours of her adopted country, Bahrain, two years ago in Doha, Qatar at the World Athletics Championship.
Running under her equally adopted name, Salwa Eid Naser, the 23 year old with Nigerian blood still flowing in her veins scorched to an incredible 48.14 seconds, the third fastest time of all time to win the gold.
Ogunkoya has now become the second Nigerian to lose an African record (49.10) set at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996.
Chioma Ajunwa’s 7.12m African long jump record which fetched her the historic Olympic gold was broken by her compatriot, Ese Brume (7.17m) at the end of May in California, USA.
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