Malawian athletes braved the harsh conditions encountered on their 3000km journey by road to World Cross country competition held in Uganda but their performance was far from convincing.
The best performance for Team Malawi was achieved by Caphus Kesteni who finished the race on position 55, while second best Chancy Master 72, Grevazio Mpani was on third position while Harry Sichali finished outside top 100 at 103.
The only female representative Cecelia Mhango did not participate after being hit by malaria.
The male team finished overall on position 11 out of 18 countries which entered team position, according to official results posted on Internatinal Athletics Association Federation (IAAF) getting backing from some local commentators.
Athletics coach and former short distance runner Dennis Phiri said Malawi had outsmarted most countries in the Southern Africa.
“Congratulations boys and coach. Team Malawi finished on position 11. The only Southern Africa country which beat us is South Africa. We are above many countries including Nigeria, Canada, France, Japan, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia,” Phiri said.
Another athlete Benedicto Makumba simply said;”They deserve respect.”
On Mhango’s failure to start the race AAM President Godfrey Phiri said she wished her quick recovery on her way back to another gruesome 3,000km return leg..
Malawi National Council of Sports Executive Secretary George Jana however condemned the association for what he termed embarassing the government for rushing to enter without money to prepare after it transpired that athletes were accommodated at a substandard AAM General Secretary Frank Chitembeya’s Area 23 squanty house during their preparations.
Jana said this should never happen again as it put the government in an awkward position.
Malawi Olympic Committee (MOC) President Oscar Kanjala, which offered K200,000 while Sports Council contributed a bigger chunk of K900,000, said they only got wind of Malawi’s participations with just a week before the race.
He also described AAM’s move as unprofessional which should not be tolerated in future as the association strives to get the best from associations.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :