The National Cross-Country Championships suited masters yesterday as Chancy and Tereza Master reigned supreme in 12 kilometres senior men and eight kilometres senior women categories, respectively, at Njamba Freedom Park in Blantyre.
Chancy beat his last year’s record by a minute when he crossed the finish line in 37:23:59 minutes—21 seconds ahead of his runner-up Grevazio Mpani and over a minute ahead of his fellow Malawi Defence Force (MDF) athlete Francis Khanje who came third.
At least 50 men took part in the category.
“I am not surprised to emerge champion today. I trained hard and I deserved the glory,” said Chancy, who finished second during the previous contest.
Tereza retained glory in the ladies’ category when she outsmarted 18 contenders, including her runner-up Mudana Phiri and third-placed Doris Fischer.
Tereza completed the race in 30:12:24 minutes while Phiri and Fisher finished in 30:41:16 minutes and 31:06:37 minutes.
In the eight kilometres junior men’s section, Cephas Kasiteni triumphed in 24:44:12 minutes as Harry Sichali and Pierson Maluwa settled for second and third slots. Sichali recorded 24:52:51 minutes whereas Maluwa had 24:56:07 minutes. There were 31 contestants in the category.
Newcomer Mercy Malembo outmanouvred experienced Memory Ziba by 36 seconds in the 27-member six kilometres junior ladies event when she got 21:59:99 minutes on the time sheet. Nalise Chirwa emerged third on 23:01:35 minutes.
The top three athletes in the senior categories received K50 000, K25 000 and K12 500 as those in the junior sections carted home K30 000, K15 000 and K7 500.
Guest of honour at the event, Sports Council chairperson Bester Kalombo, who was accompanied by his executive secretary George Jana, said he was impressed with the way the contest was conducted.
According to Athletics Association of Malawi (AAM) president Godfrey Phiri, the top four athletes in each category will represent the country at the Southern African Championships in Pretoria, South Africa, on February 24.