NAMIBIAN Christine Mboma produced a startling performance at the Irena Szewińska Memorial meeting in the Polish city of Bydgoszcz as she won the women’s 400 metres by half the length of the finishing straight in 48.54sec – a world under-20 record and the fastest run so far this year.

It marked another dizzying step up for the 18-year-old Mboma, who set a personal best of 50.97 on March 27 this year and trimmed it with a Namibian record and unofficial world under-20 record of 49.24 on April 11, breaking the mark of 49.42 set in 1991 by East Germany’s Gritt Breuer.

A week later she lowered her best to 49.22, and her latest effort takes her above Rio 2016 champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo, who clocked 49.08 in April, in the 2021 world rankings.

Mboma’s time establishes her in seventh place on the all-time women’s 400m list and provides the women’s 400m with a different talking point to the news that broke shortly before the meeting began that Salwa Eid Naser of Bahrain, who went third on the all-time list in winning the 2019 world title in 48.14, had been banned for two years for missing three anti-doping tests in a 12-month period.

For Miller-Uibo, who took silver at the Doha World Championships behind Naser, no sooner has one major rival disappeared off her radar for Tokyo than she has a new contender front and centre.

Poland’s European champion Justyna Święty-Ersetic was a distant second in 51.91sec.

Elsewhere in the latest World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting at the Zawisza Stadium, home world champion hammer throwers Anita Wlodarczyk and Pawel Fajdek produced powerful winning statements of intent with the Olympics on the horizon. –

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