The Athletics Association of Malawi (AAM) has said it is targeting more than 200 athletes at this year’s Ching’ombe National Cross-Country slated for Saturday in Lilongwe.
Last year, the event attracted close to 120 athletes and AAM president Godfrey Phiri said they want to double the figure this year.
He said this year’s event, which will take place at Kamuzu Institute of Sports, will be open to schools as well.
“In the past, the competition has been restricted to clubs and other seniors, but we want more students from primary and secondary schools to participate.
“This is the biggest event we have in athletics in the country; hence, the need to open it to all potential athletes,” said Phiri.
He also said the association is waiting for additional funding from Sports Council for the tournament.
“Ching’ombe have pumped in K2.5 million (about $7 352), but we need about extra K1 million (about $2 931) to cater for transportation and accommodation of athletes from other regions
“Government has always supported this competition with the said logistics, so it is our hope that they will come in again,” he said.
Defending champion Cephas Kesten is the athlete to watch this year as he looks to retain the honours he won in Mzuzu last year.
His credentials as an up-and-coming long distance runner were enhanced with gold and silver medals at the Zone VI youth games in Lusaka, Zambia last year.