A Namibian sprinter celebrated her silver medal by carrying a comically large flag around the track

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A Namibian sprinter celebrated her silver medal by carrying a comically large flag around the track
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Namibia's Christine Mboma celebrates with Jamaica's Elaine Thompson-Herah and American Gabrielle Thomas.
Namibia's Christine Mboma. AP Photo/David J. Phillip
  • Namibian sprinter Christine Mboma won a silver medal in the women's 200-meter final at Tokyo 2020.

  • After the race, she grabbed the flag of her country and rounded the track to celebrate.

  • Mboma's flag was delightfully large, and a fitting tribute to the humongous victory.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Namibian sprinter Christine Mboma had a phenomenal performance at Tokyo 2020 on Tuesday.

In the women's 200-meter final, Mboma, 18, ran a personal best 21.81 seconds to take home a silver medal.

After the starting gun, it looked like Mboma would have difficulty reaching the podium, as she was stuck in fifth as the runners reached the straightaway finish.

But Mboma turned on the burners through the final 50 meters of the race, passing everyone in the field except Jamaica's Elaine Thompson-Herah.

After the race, Mboma did what many athletes do - grabbed her country's flag from the stands to take with them on a victory lap around the track.

But while these flags are usually a standard size equal to the athletes carrying them, Mboma decided to go big.

Namibia's Christine Mboma celebrates silver medal at Tokyo 2020.
Christine Mboma. AP Photo/Petr David Josek

This flag is delightfully large and with good reason. Only a flag of this size could fully encapsulate the importance of Mboma's silver medal.

Mboma's silver was the first medal ever for a Namibian woman and her country's first medal at the Olympics since 1996. At just 18 years old, Mboma should be in contention for gold at Paris 2024.

"I'm really happy," Mboma said after her race. "This was not even my dream. I just came here for experience. I didn't think to win a medal. I'm really happy."

Mboma's win was a deserving victory after a frustrating path to the Olympics.

She very well might have left Tokyo with two medals for her country but was barred from competing in the women's 400-meter due to naturally occurring raised testosterone levels.

Mboma and her countrywoman Beatrice Masilingi have put in three of the four fastest times in the women's 400m this year. Still, neither could compete in the event in Tokyo due to the limits set on natural testosterone levels for races from 400m-1500m.

Despite not running in one of her best events, Mboma is still taking a medal home for her country.

If that's not an accomplishment worthy of a big ol' flag, I don't know what is.

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