Malawian athletes defied all odds to dominate the Confederation of Southern Africa Cross country held at Njamba Freedom Park in Blantyre winning three gold medals, one silver medal and one bronze to mark the best ever performance in the competition.
Mercy Malembo led the way when she won the first gold medal for Malawi in the Junior Women’s event in 21:39:65 minutes followed by Malita Phiri who settled for bronze in the same event in 22:03:02 minutes.
Kenan Linicip of Namibia disturbed Malawi’s podium dominance by winning silver with a time of 21:49:91.
In the Junior Men’s race Abina Tchinga added another gold to Malawi clocking 25:26:35 minutes followed by Harry Sichali’s silver in the same event in 25:27:22.
Carnioss Wejere of Zimbabwe settled for bronze in 25:42:18.
In the Senior Women’s race Malawi failed to emulate other events when the flag carriers failed to sparkle on home soil.
The country’s top athlete Tereza Master only managed a fifth position finish in 30:04:57 minutes to be the first to cross the finishing line for Malawi.
But the in the Men’s Senior race Cephas Kesten took the race by storm by bursting to victory winning another gold medal for Malawi in 36:59:20 minutes and Grevazio Mpani settled for bronze clocking 37:52:19 in the same category while Jacob Mugomeri of Zimbabwe grabbed the silver in 37:40:18.
Athletics coach Francis Munthali said he was happy with the performance of the athletes having had poor preparations ahead of the event.
“I am happy that we have won. It was by God’s grace that the athletes have managed to win because I never thought that they could do it the way they have done,” Munthali said.
Minister of Sports, Youth development and Culture Grace Chiumia pledged to the medalists for Malawi a token of appreciation with the gold medal winners pocketing K50,000, silver K30,000 and bronze K20,000.
The competition attracted five countries South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and hosts Malawi.
Malawi stepped in to host the race two months before the race after Seychelles withdrew.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :