Malawi’s athletics body should embrace SA-based long distance runner 

Malawian athlete based in South Africa, Edson Kumwamba, is carrying the national flag higher and very little is known about him. This reporter managed to connect with him through a lady he has asked to become his personal manager.
He revealed that at the recent 80km Ultra PURfeR 2018 race in South Africa broken the record as he did it in 6hrs 54 mins and 20 seconds.
Some of the races he has been on the podium for include Ultra Trail Capetown 100km, Jongershoek Mountain Challenge 38km, Puffer 80Km, Mont Blanc 90km (France), Mulanje Porters Race 24km, Marloth Mountain Challenge 55km, Batrun 30km, Table Mountain Challenge 44km, Dryland Traverse 110km and Salomon Bastille Day 35km.
He has travelled to France and Switzerland and he says every time he travels he proudly carries the Malawi flag.
Kumwamba was born and grew up in Nchathu Village, Tradition Authority Nkanda in Mulanje District and became interested to become an athlete when he was just nine years old through the annual Porters Race when his mother used to take him to watch the races.
He went to South Africa to look for work after graduating  from DAPP vocational school as a welder and fabricator and whilst there he joined the extreme sports and he found himself a coach, Ian Waddle in Capetown who trained him to the specialised long distance races called Ultra.
It’s high time Malawi’s athletics body took him on board so that using the Porters Race, he can be marketed well and that more such athletes can be groomed to join Kumwamba in representing the country at these races.
The body can start identifying more youths to use these mountains for training in Ultra racing. We need more of such athletes to raise the Malawi flag higher.
At the same time, while a lot is being done to market the Mulanje Porters Race, the organisers of this annual event should use Kumwamba as a role model product on the international stage.
The race should attract more professional ultra runners across the world so that it can woo international TV stations to beam it either live or recorded as we see on SuperSport or Kwese TV for other foreign country races.
Congratulations are in order for our very own Kumwamba for his achievements and passion to raise the Malawi flag higher.

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