Mwanyali stars at Mzuzu 2023 cross country

20-year–old Chikondi Mwanyali from Civo Athletics Club is the 2023 gold medallist in cross country in the men’s senior category after running for 10 Kilometres in 31 minutes, 9 seconds at Mzuzu Golf Course on Saturday.

Macdonald Maganizo from Mvera, Dowa was the runner up winning a silver medal while veteran Chancy Master of Kamuzu Barracks under the Malawi Defence Force finished on third position with a bronze medal.

In the men’s junior category, 26 boys from across the country competed for a distance of 8 Kilometres and Frank Gondwe of Forever Club in Mzuzu was the first to reach the finishing line followed by Saidi Phiri of Wings of Hope Club in Kasungu. Nathan Chisale of Forever Club in Mzuzu finished third in this category.

Mwanyali gets his medal and cash from Charles Ulaya

In the women’s senior category, it was the country’s top athlete Asimenye Simwaka of the Malawi Defence Force, who was first to finish the 10 Kilometres after running for 39 minutes, 32 seconds. This female gold medalist was followed by Nalise Chirwa of Forever Club in Mzuzu. Fostina Mbemba of the Malawi Defence Force finished third.

Estere Mtambo from Misuku in Chitipa was the winner in women’s junior category which was for 6 Kilometres. The runner up was Ruth Phiri of Wings of Hope in Kasungu while on third position was Lydia Mwenechanya of Forever Club in Mzuzu.

Speaking to Nyasa Times after winning the competition, Chikondi Mwanyali who has just graduated from the junior category where he was the champion several times, said he was so happy to win gold in the senior category.

Asimenye Simwaka reaches the finishing line

“I am so happy with this win but honestly it wasn’t easy. I was the youngest among veterans but I worked hard to achieve this fit. I look forward to representing Malawi at different competitions,” said Mwanyali who wrote his Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) Examinations in 2020 and got 22 points.

Vice Board Chairperson for the Malawi National Council of Sports, Charles Ulaya Banda who was Guest of Honour at the event; said the event was so important.

“Young athletes are groomed through competitions like these. Established athletes like Asimenye Simwaka were also using these competitions as preparation for other important competitions ahead. Athletics is one discipline that represents Malawi very well at the international level. We need to join hands in supporting our athletes,” Ulaya said.

Outgoing General Secretary for Athletics Association of Malawi, Frank Chitembeya, hailed the Malawi National Council of Sports for funding the event. 

“We were somehow detached from our mother body but after reconciliation we are glad we have managed to hold this important event. As an association, together with government and with the help of the corporate world, we will see to it that these athletes are monitored and given all the support. I am very sure that some of these athletes will bring us medals from the 2024 Olympic Games,” remarked Chitembeya.

Mzuzu will also be host for a half Marathon on March 5, 2023.

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