Namibian sprinter Christine Mboma won the silver medal in the women’s Olympic 200-meter race, just over one month after learning she could not compete in her signature 400m due to elevated testosterone levels.
Mboma, 18, has a condition called hyperandrogenism which leads to a hyperproduction of testosterone in her body. In 2018, World Athletics introduced regulations banning athletes with “elevated” testosterone from specifically participating in women’s races between 400-meters and 1600-meters. Athletes such as South Africa’s Caster Semenya, Kenya’s Margaret Wambui, Burundi’s Francine Niyonsaba, Namibia’s Beatrice Masilingi and others have all been banned from competing in Olympic events due to these regulations.
Her dominant performance of 21.81 seconds in the semi-final elicited controversial remarks from retired Polish sprinter Marcin Urbaś. He claimed it is unfair for Mboma to compete with other runners who are “definitely women.”
Polish Sprinter, Marcin Urbas asked Tokyo Olympics organizers to test Namibian Teen, Christine Mboma to find out if she is a woman, after she ran a Semi Final time of 21.97 seconds in the women's 200m race.
Marcin Urbas had a failed career at the Olympics and World Championships pic.twitter.com/FOlt3o0gaP
— Africa Facts Zone (@AfricaFactsZone) August 6, 2021
“With progression and improvement in her technique, she will soon drop to 21.00 seconds in 200m and 47.00 seconds in the 400m,” he said. “We will continue to think that she is fair and equal, and it is a clear and insolent injustice against women who are definitely women.”
No matter how Urbaś feels about Mboma’s genetic condition, the fact remains that she is an Olympic medallist and broke the world record for the under-20 division multiple times during the Olympic campaign.
18-year old-Christine Mboma is KILLING IT! 🔥
Women’s 200m – heat 1: 22.11
Women’s 200m – Semifinals: 21.97(!)
She’s broken the under 20 women’s 200m world record TWICE in 8 HOURS!
— AfroBallers (@afroballers) August 2, 2021
BTW, SHE ONCE AGAIN SHATTERED THE U20 200M WORLD RECORD. SHE BROKE 3 TIMES IN 36 HOURS! 🔥🔥🔥
— AfroBallers (@afroballers) August 3, 2021
Christine Mboma is already in the history books.
Watch this replay of the 200m Olympic final: