Elijah Kanyenda and Nalise Chirwa emerged winners of the Northern Region Cross Country competition in senior men and women categories respectively at Chimkusa ground in Mzimba on Saturday.
Kanyenda, who saw off challenges from 19 competitors, was consistent with speed before engaging an extra gear in his last lap to win the 10-kilometre race in 32:01 minutes. He got K12 000 for his feat.
Hoseya Chawola, who came second, clocked 32:12 minutes and received K8 000.
“I am happy to win this race. It is good that I have silenced other top athletes in the region,” Kanyenda told The Nation.
Chirwa, who represented Malawi at the 2014 All Africa Games in Nigeria, clocked 39:07 minutes while her runner-up Gertrude Ziba of Kaphuta in Mzimba recorded 45:17 minutes.
Chirwa earned herself K12 000 top prize while Ziba got K8 000.
In junior women’s category, Cecilia Mhango from Mzuzu finished top in the six-kilometre race in 22 minutes, beating a field of 30 athletes.
She carted home K8 000 as her prize. Ellen Nyoka from Mzimba came second (23:46 minutes) while Belita Chiumia also from Mzimba finished third (24:28 minutes).
In men’s junior category, Bright Banda from Nkhata Bay was the winner in the six-kilometre race in 27: 39 minutes. Joseph Mkandawire from Chitipa was second. He finished the distance at 27: 59 minutes.
Speaking at the prize presentation ceremony, district sports committee chairperson for Mzimba Peter Jaji thanked Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) for bankrolling the competition which he said was going to expose more talents.
Jaji, however, appealed to government to consider increasing funding for the sport so that more athletes can be motivated.
Regional sports development officer for the North Georgina Msowoya appealed to the winners to continue training hard so that they should win medals during the National Cross Country to take place in Mzuzu on February 13.