The Cycling Federation of Malawi (CFM) has challenged contestants in the 2019 edition of Presidential Initiative on Sports (PIS) race to cross the finishing line within standard time or risk receiving reduced prizes.
CFM vice-president Jonathan Tengani yesterday said the eventual winner of the elite category in the race set for August 4 in Lilongwe will have to complete the 140-kilometre circuit laps around Mchinji Road within three hours and 35 minutes to qualify for the K100 000 first prize will receive K30 000 less.
He said world cycling governing body Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) set that time as a qualifying standard for prestigious events such as the Olympic Games but previously no Malawian achieved the feat.
“We are determined to produce a qualified athlete for the Olympics and we believe it is only through such restrictions that we can push our athletes to meet the standards,” Tengani said.
Reigning elite champion Steven Nazombe said he will try his best to meet the standards although lack of proper training equipment and poor support from stakeholders stand his way.
“That is really a big challenge but I have a belief that I can be successful this year,” he said.
In ladies and men’s mountain bike categories, winners will get K80 000 each.
Last year, the ladies’ section had no contestant but Tengani said they hope to have them this year.