Tokyo Olympics: Star-Studded Line Up Takes Center Stage In Women’s 200m Final Amid Testosterone Controversy

Published 1 year ago
Athletics – Olympics: Day 10
laine Thompson-Herah of Team Jamaica, Beth Dobbin of Team Great Britain, Crystal Emmanuel of Team Canada, Gabrielle Thomas of Team United States, Gina Bass of Team Gambia, Christine Mboma of Team Namibia and Rafalia Spanoudaki-Chatziriga of Team Greece compete in the Women's 200 metres semi finals on day ten of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 02, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

TOPLINE After demolishing the field in the women’s 100-meter finals last week, Jamaican sprinters Elaine Thompson-Herah and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce will be part of a star-studded lineup vying for gold in the 200-meter final at the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday amid controversy about two finalists from Namibia who have been barred from the 400-meter race following a contentious testosterone ruling.


The 200-meter women’s finals are expected to be among the most competitive track and field events at the Tokyo Games with multiple gold medal contenders.

Thompson-Herah will look to pull off a repeat of her 200-meter gold win at the Rio Olympics and just like last week’s 100-meter final, she will likely be challenged by her compatriot Fraser-Pryce.

Among the challengers will be American Gabby Thomas, the Harvard-educated neurobiology major who overcame a health scare earlier this summer to post the second-fastest ever women’s 200-meter time of 21.61—second only to Griffith-Joyner’s world record of 21.34 seconds.

Bahamian sprinter and current holder of the 400-meter Olympic gold medal, Shaunae Miller-Uibo and 100-meter African record holder Marie-Josee Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast will also be in the mix.

All eyes will also be on two 18-year old Namibian runners—Christine Mboma and Beatrice Masilingi—who were controversially barred from participating in the 400-meter event as World Athletics ruled that their naturally occurring high testosterone levels give them an unfair advantage over the rest of the field in longer events.

Christine Mboma smashed the world under-20 record twice in the span of a few hours and even charged past Thomas in the 200-meter semi-finals.


If Thompson-Herah wins, she will become the first woman in history to win both the 100-meter and 200-meter gold in back-to-back Olympics games. She had won gold in both events at the Rio 2016 Olympics.


World Athletics’ ruling against Mboma and Masilingi in the 400 meters only applies to races between 400-meters and a mile as the governing body argues it gives them an unfair advantage over other female athletes. The same rules have sidelined double Olympic gold medalist Caster Semenya of South Africa in the 800 meters event. The world athletic body has been called out for its stance being in direct opposition to efforts to make athletics more inclusive. But Sebastian Coe, the president of World Athletics has insisted that the rule is in place to maintain the “integrity of the sport.”

By Siladitya Ray, Forbes Staff