Familiar runners dominated the inaugural national relay race championship which the Athletics Association of Malawi (AAM) and the Sports Council hosted at Kamuzu Institute for Sports, Lilongwe on Saturday.
The tournament formed the platform for AAM to be dispatching relay race national teams to international events and looking at the talent on display, there were no qualms.
Central Region team, led by Chancy Master, won the medley race. The 400 metres by four relay race winners were yet again a Central Region side; this time around spearheaded by Golden Gunde who again led a 100 metres by 4 relay side, AAM general secretary Frank Chitembeya updates indicate.
Kefas Kasten and Abina Chinga starred for Balaka and Chinsapo teams to finish second and third in medley. Denis Phiri spearheaded Andiamo team’s silver position for 400 metres with Mike Tebulo’s side finishing third in the same category.
Phiri, who is also a qualified athletics coach, ensured Andiamo’s presence in 100 metres by claiming second position. Each winning team pocketed K80 000 (about $178), K40 000 (about $88) and K20 000 (about $44) for second and third place teams respectively.
AAM president Godfrey Phiri described the event as a step in the right direction for domestic athletics and hailed Sports Council for the sponsorship.
“This will help us to build a new team for the relay that will be competing with other Southern African teams. It is a call by the Iaaf [International Federation of Athletics Federation] that all countries should have relay teams that can be competing in major tournaments. Next August, we have athletics World Cup in China,” Phiri explained.