Malawi lost an opportunity to have at least four athletes at the 50-kilometre City-to-City Marathon in South Africa this Saturday due to shortage of long distance runners.
According to athlete Henry Moyo, organisers of the event asked him to identify four more long distance runners to take part in the Saturdayâ€™s race but it was only Malawi Defence Forceâ€™s (MDF) John Kayange who seemed fit for the event.
He said the other MDF runner, Mike Tebulo, was another prospect but he needs some rest after participating in the recent 2012 London Olympics. Moyo himself needs a breather after contesting in the recent 56-kilometre Two Oceans Marathon and the 90-kilometre Comrades Marathon.
Moyo said lack of local marathon races since 2007, when there was the 42-kilometre Nico Marathon, has caused the setback because from that time, the country has not produced a single long distance runner.
Currently, Malawi only has cross country and track and field contests. There is the Chingâ€™ombe Cross Country Championships, the Presidential Championships and the Mulanje Mountain Porters Race.
â€œKayange, Tebulo and I are the only long distance runners capable of contesting at international marathons. What worries me is the fact that the three of us are at the sunset of our athletics careers and there is no one to take over from us,â€ said Moyo.
Moyo, who won silver at the recent Two Oceans Marathon, said he becomes a laughing stalk when he represents the country alone while other countries are represented by many.