News August 09, 2021 at 10:30 am

Why a former Polish athlete wants Namibia’s Christine Mboma to undergo a gender test

Francis Akhalbey | Content Manager

Francis Akhalbey August 09, 2021 at 10:30 am

August 09, 2021 at 10:30 am | News

Marcin Urbas said he wants Christine Mboma to undergo a gender test -- Photo Credit: PA

In an interview with Marca, former Polish sprinter Marcin Urbas said he wants Namibian athlete Christine Mboma to undergo a gender test on the grounds that the 18-year-old has an unfair advantage over her competitors due to her high testosterone levels.

Mboma made history at the just-ended Tokyo Olympics when she became the first Namibian woman to win an Olympic medal after finishing second in the women’s 200M final. However, the teenager’s eligibility to participate in some events in Tokyo was curtailed.

And leading up to earning a silver medal in the final, Urbas, who is currently a sprinting coach, told the news outlet he wants Mboma to undergo “a thorough test” to ascertain “if she definitely is a woman.”

“The testosterone advantage of Mboma over other participants is seen with the naked eye,” the 44-year-old claimed. “In construction, movement, technique, at the same time as speed and endurance.

“She has the parameters of an 18-year-old boy, at that age my PB [Personal Best] was 22.01 and she has done it in 21.97 in Tokyo.”

Urbas, who holds the Polish record for the fastest 200M with 19.98 seconds, predicted the Namibian athlete would get better with time. “With progression and improvement in her technique, she will soon drop to 21.00 seconds in 200m and 47.00 seconds in the 400m,” Urbas 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.”

Prior to the commencement of the Olympic games, Face2Face Africa reported Mboma and her 18-year-old compatriot, Beatrice Masilingi, had become the latest casualties of a hugely debated World Athletics rule that bans female athletes with naturally high testosterone levels from competing in events between 400 meters and a mile.

The southern African nation’s Olympic Committee and Commonwealth Games Association announced the two athletes wouldn’t be able to compete in the aforementioned category in Tokyo after medical tests conducted on them established their natural testosterone levels were excessively high.

Besides Mboma and Masilingi, Caster Semenya of South Africa, as well as Burundi’s Francine Niyonsaba and Kenya’s Margaret Wambui, are the other African female athletes who have been disqualified from certain events because of the rule.

Female athletes, who wish to participate in events between 400 meters and a mile but are deemed to have high testosterone levels, are required to undergo a medical procedure to reduce their levels in order to be eligible. However, this rule has stoked a lot of controversies, with Semenya challenging the regulation in court.

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