MDF REIGN SUPREME IN NATIONAL CROSS COUNTRY ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIP

….as central region dominate in Junior categories

NEWS | SPORTS 

By Madalitso Phiri.

As expected, the Malawi Defence Force squad stamped its authority in athletics by commanding a lion’s share during this year’s prestigious national cross country event staged at Mzuzu Golf Course on Saturday (17th February 2018).

In the senior categories for both males, and females, top spots went to the MDF athletes.

The senior male category saw the soldiers running riot as all the three top spots headed to the men in uniform. Defending champion, Caiaphas Kasteni repeated last year’s exploits by seeing off 46 competitors to finish the ten kilometre race in 31.04 minutes, 18 seconds ahead of fellow soldier, Chancy Mastala. Another soldier, Happy Mcherenje finished 3rd in 31 minutes and 40 seconds.

MDF athletes

The top three’s line up was a repeat of a similar feat in last year’s event which was staged in the central region.

In the senior ladies’ category, newly recruited Moyale Barrack-based soldier, Cecilia Mhango triumphed the similar distance in 40 minutes and 57 seconds, ahead of Central region’s Mudana Phiri, and northern region’s Nalise Chirwa.

Cecilia Mhango; Winner in the female senior category

In the junior categories, all but one spot in the top five male runners heat went to the Southern region, with Stafiel Chitedze of Kamuzu Institute club triumphing in the 8 KM race in 26.16 minutes, and Sapitwa’s Austin Sukali finishing as a runner up in 26.47 minutes.

In the junior females’ category, Lilongwe’s Nsalu club called the shots with all the top four spots filled by its athletes. The 6 KM race saw Moneyi Chingaipe winning the race in 23.12 minutes, and fellow team mate, Allena Christopher finishing second in 23.58 minutes.

Although the gala went as planned, the athletics body cried foul over the financial outputs that the winners catered home with.

Athletics Association of Malawi’s President, Godfrey Phiri said it was sad that the awardees received peanuts at the end of such a tiresome feat.

“The prizes weren’t that attractive; we’d planned big but financially, we’re incapacitated hence had on option but to share the little that we had.” He lamented.

True to Phiri’s sentiments, in the senior men’s category, the winner went home with a meagre K30, 000 (Thirty thousand Kwacha), his runners’ up got K25 thousand, and the third placed smiled to the bank with K20 thousand.

In the female category, Cecilia Mhango, the winner, received K30, thousand, second placed Mudana Phiri received K25 thousand, and third placed Nalicy Chirwa had K20 thousand.

On his part, the guest of honour for the event, the Principal Secretary for sports, Joseph Mwandidya, said the government is committed to promoting youth participation in various sports disciplines.

“We’re fully aware of the pivotal role the youths are playing in developing the country. This is why the government is geared to erecting structures so as to support our youthsout there,” he said.

The auspicious gala was watched by various well-known sports personalities across the country. Including Former Bullets Defender and mentor, Gilbert Chirwa, and Former Flames mentor, Kinnah Phiri, officials from the sports ministry.

Below are the results for top 5 athletes in each category

Senior men – 10 km

  1. Caiaphas Kasiteni Chitsala – MDF club (31.04 minutes)
  2. Chancy Master – MDF (31.22 minutes)
  3. Happy Ndacha Mcherenje – MDF ( 31.40 minutes)
  4. Grevazio Mpani – Nijo club (32.02 minutes)
  5. Mc Donald Galimoto – Institute club (32.07 minutes)

Senior women 10 km

  1. Cecilia Mhango – MDF (40.57 minutes)
  2. Mudana Phiri   – Nsalu ( 41.20 minutes)
  3. Nalicy Chirwa – Forever club ( 42.,10 minutes)
  4. Ellen Nyoka – Forever club ( 44.14 minutes)
  5. Eveless Zinyezi – MDF (45.27 minutes)

Junior men – 8 km

  1. Stafiel chitedze – Institute club (26.16 minutes)
  2. Austin Sukali – Sapitwa club (26.47 minutes)
  3. Mazunzo kasiteni – Nsalu club (26.57 minutes)
  4. Gift jekapu- Bembeke club (27.10 minutes)
  5. Juma Wilson – Dzalanyama club (28.10 minutes)

Junior women_6 km

  1. Moneyi Chingaipe- Nsalu club ( 23.12 minutes)
  2. Allena Christopher – Nsalu (23.58 minutes)
  3. Monica Chikaiko – Nsalu (24.04 minutes)
  4. Hannah Lawrence – Nsalu (24.10 minutes)
  5. Linda Anthony – Institute club ( 24.37 minutes)

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