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Bunch of pretenders

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This week, it was exciting to watch a spectacular carnival at the closing ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and the official handover to 2020 hosts, Tokyo.

I liked watching that immaculate Brazilian model, Izabel Goulart, leading a parade of women dancers, who were joined by a sound track containing 12 carnival queens.

Having watched this closing ceremony, a question came to my mind; who will rescue Malawi sports from the jaws of the crocodile?

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When organised countries have already started preparing for the 2020 Games in Tokyo, Malawian authorities are still dozing.

Athletes from neighbouring countries have been decorated with medals at the same competition, when our own did not even beat the Olympic qualifying time. Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe each won 13 medals while Mauritius had nine Mozambique (10) Namibia (seven) and South Africa (19).

It is sickening to imagine that 51 years after independence, Malawi cannot produce an athlete worth qualifying for the Olympic Games. Instead, we spend precious time and resources glorifying our athletes for lasting the distance at such a high-profile event.

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Someone should feel ashamed that for 52 years no one has won a medal on this big stage, and yet we have the guts and guile to participate in such a high-profile competition.

It is annoying that of all the sporting disciplines that we have, none can produce an athlete worth beating Olympic qualifying time.

Above all, there is a whole ministry of sports that is supposed to give policy guide lines on how we can develop our athletes in the country.

But in a ministry where its head, has lost direction and relevance to sports and is busy apologising for making careless statements at a political podium, one would certainly not anticipate anything good and inspiring.

Possibly, in her dreams, Grace Chiumia sees a country that one day will thank her for rescuing our sports from the mess it finds itself in.

I have always questioned the commitment and competence of people who are appointed sports ministers in Malawi.

All the countries who have managed to produce credible athletes, sports ministers are responsible for championing the policies, the guiding principles in which institutions are run to develop quality athletes.

It must be said in no uncertain terms that sending athletes to Olympic Games on solidarity is ridiculous and embarrassing and it must stop.

These problems are trickling down to the sports associations. We don’t have right people to bring meaningful development to sports instead it is bunch of pretenders who lied to the sports constituency to win positions.

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