Had it not been for the ill-treatment he suffered soon after his return from the Commonwealth Games in Oakland, New Zealand in 1990, long distance runner George Mambosasa could have added another decade to his athletics career.
He blames it all on the Athletics Association of Malawi (AAM) and government.
The 48-year-old Bangwe Township resident said at the weekend that he nearly lost his job when AAM played hide-and-seek on his request to tell his employers why he had come late after the international trip.
â€œAfter my return from Europe, I was so tired that I decided to rest for three days before going to work. My boss could not believe my story; so he suspended me. However, when I asked AAM and government officials to justify to my boss why I was late for work, they did not dare to help.
â€œDue to their failure, my boss wanted to fire me until one of my senior colleagues convinced him to reverse the decision. Since then, I lost appetite for athletics,â€ said Mambosasa.
He was one of the countryâ€™s prominent runners who represented Malawi at prestigious events such as the Los Angels Olympics in USA in 1984, International Students World Championships in Kobe, Japan in 1985, the Commonwealth Games in Scotland in 1986 and the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea.
â€œBut my most memorable moment emerged in 1986 at the Commonwealth Games, when I set Malawiâ€™s five-kilometre record at international contest with a 14:22 minutes finish. Although I did not win a medal at this event, I was excited by my performance,â€ he said.
He started athletics in 1979 while in Standard Eight at Chitawira Primary School in Blantyre.
He had been an annual national champion in five and 10 kilometres between 1980 and 1982. He won gold and silver in the two distances respectively in the five-nation Mozambique Independence Day Celebrations Games in 1987. In 1989, he brought silver from the Pro-Nutrol Marathon in Zimbabwe. Â