They did not win medals, but Malawi’s five up-and-coming athletes were content to improve their personal best times at the 2014 Second Summer Nanjing Youth Olympic Games in China.
The athletes took their turn in the final qualifying round on Sunday, two days after sailing past the first-round. Malawi chef de mission Jimmy Kadewere gave the updates.
Swimmer Joyce Tafatatha clocked 31:23 seconds in 50 metres backstroke, breaking her 31:90 seconds she achieved at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
The Holland-based Tafatatha also improved her 50 metres freestyle record. She clocked 27:73 seconds against 28:05 seconds achieved at the Commonwealth Games last month. Reducing times by even seconds is not easy in athletics.
As for runners, Masuzo Kasiteni clocked 1:59:22 in 800 metres, which was an improvement from the 2:01:81 minutes he attained at the Africa Youth Olympic Games in Botswana in May.
Tchinga Abina ran 1 500 metres in 3:54:35 minutes whereas in Botswana he clocked 3:58:31 minutes.
In 3 000 metres, Leo Chikhwaza improved from 8:40:17 minutes achieved in Botswana to 8:30:40 minutes while Nalicy Chirwa improved her 10:44:10 minutes to 10:34:27 minutes.
“From the above assessment, Abina has reduced his time by four seconds while the rest have reduced theirs by 10 seconds. The times obtained here in China are their personal best, although they have not qualified. The competitions are ending on August 28 2014. All the athletes have done good job by reducing their times,” said Kadewere.