President Peter Mutharika yesterday led hundreds of Malawians in welcoming the Queen’s Baton at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) in Lilongwe.
After receiving the baton, Mutharika expressed concern over local athletes’ poor performance at Commonwealth Games which has seen Malawi failing to win a medal despite years of participation
Said Mutharika: “We have been participating in the games for years now but we haven’t been winning medals. We need to improve and start winning.”
The President asked local sports administrators to consult other countries on how they win medals at the competition.
“Our neighbours are doing well and we need to ask them how they manage to win. Let me also ask you to intensify your preparations for the next games,” he said.
Reacting to the President’s concern, in an interview, Commonwealth Games Regional vice-president for Africa Miriam Moyo said generally African nations have been performing poorly at the games.
He attributed the development to lack of financial support from the governments.
“Unless governments allocate more resources to supplement what we get from Commonwealth, it will be difficult to groom young athletes into medal winners,” she said.
To celebrate the Baton Relay, the British High Commission last evening organised a reception.
The baton relay has been a traditional curtain-raiser to the Commonwealth Games since 1958.
Malawi is the 11th country to receive the baton after taking over from Mauritius and it will head to Zambia on April 24.
Gold Coast, Australia, will host the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Today it will head to Salima for several activities at Livingstonia Beach Hotel and Mua Cultural Heritage Centre.n