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Failure is part of the DNA of our athletes

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Athletics Association of Malawi (AAM) Coach, John Mwathiwa, should keep quiet instead of giving lame excuses after two athletes, who represented Malawi at the African Cross Country Championship in Chlef Algeria, came back in shame.

Mwathiwa was entrusted with responsibility of coaching Kefas Kasten and Cecilia Mhango at the continental event but they both failed to leave an indelible mark.

Experienced runner Kasten clocked 31:36 to finish on position 11 out of 56 contestants while Cecilia clocked 42:32 to finish on position 25 out of 48 competitors in the ladies’ category.

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Upon return from Algeria, Mwathiwa had the audacity to tell the nation that his athletes failed to impress because the route was slippery due to heavy rains.

“They could have performed better had it been for the condition of the route. The terrain was also very rough,” Mwathiwa told our sister paper The Daily Times.

What he did not tell the nation was whether athletes from Kenya, Uganda, Eritrea and Ethiopia, who dominated the competition, were running on dry ground.

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Such excuses become extremely annoying especially to some of us who love sports considering the investment that is made in an athlete to prepare in an athlete to prepare and travel to such competitions.

It doesn’t require rocket science to know that any athlete should prepare to run in a hostile environment and should have proper equipment for that.

But because Malawian athletes and their officials blindly to travel competitions instead of sourcing intelligence information, they always face problems and come back with a litany of lame excuses to justify their failure.

Mwathiwa should admit that in Algeria, men were separated from boys and it is unheard of for him to imagine that our athletes, who are not properly trained, could have done better.

It is sheer fantasy for AAM to think that one day they will wake up from deep slumber and find proper athletes who will be able to win medals at such a big stage. AAM is full of people who are not acquainted with the art of developing talent.

Developing an athlete is a process and it takes not less than 10 years. That is why it took Malawi long to produce athletes such as George Mambosasa and Matthews Kambale.

But with the mediocrity that has characterised AAM to achieve that feat is a pipe-dream. Whether you agree with me or not but that is the reality of the sport.

We can no longer afford to live with the emotional scars you are inflicting on us every time you travel to compete.

There is no harm to conclude that failure has become part of the DNA of this organisation.

May be, this inert AAM doesn’t know that what will cheer our spirits even more is seeing one of our athletes winning gold at a big state.

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