The Athletics Association of Malawi (AAM) has cancelled Chancy Master and Grivazio Mpani’s trip to the World Cross Country Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland, because of flight connections problems.
According to AAM president Godfrey Phiri, the two who were supposed to fly out on Friday morning would have arrived in Warsaw last evening.
He said they found out there was no flight from Warsaw to Bydgoszcz last evening (Saturday) and they would only have connected this morning.
“It didn’t make sense that they should arrive on the day of the competition as chances of missing their race was high. So, after consulting with the local organising committee in Poland and Sports Council we decided to postpone the trip.
“We regret the missed opportunity, but the cancellation was the ideal option and we thank Sports Council for their effort to secure funding for the trip at the eleventh hour,” he said.
Mpani expressed disappointment with the news, saying he was set to conquer the world after winning gold earlier this month at the Southern Africa Cross Country in Lesotho.
“It is very disappointing that after putting all the effort in the preparations we are not going. It affects morale, but we understand the circumstances.
“I was set to do wonders in Poland, but maybe next time will do. I will not stop working hard ahead of other future competitions,” said Mpani.
The indications of the trip failing to take place were evident. As of Wednesday, the day the two were supposed to leave, AAM had not yet secured funding that was only released by the council on Thursday morning.
According to Phiri, the International Association of Athletics Federations ( IAAF) used to provide the funding for such trips, but changed recently without giving reasons.
Sports Council came to the rescue of AAM despite the latter exhausting its allocation earlier this month when they participated in the Lesotho event.
le=’mso-spacerun:yes’> It is expected that seven top teams from the South, five from the Centre and four from the North will enter the draw for last 16 to be played on the weekend of June 1-2. The quarter-finals will be held on the weekend of June15-16 followed by semis and finals in the subsequent weekends.
Big Bullets are the defending national champions. They edged Moyale Barracks 1-0 in the final match.