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Makba targets gold in South Africa

FLYING THE MALAWI FLAG—Kickboxing athletes and officials pose for a photograph before departure

Malawi Kickboxing Association (Makba) is targeting gold medals from the African Continental Kickboxing Championship scheduled for Benoni in Johannesburg, South Africa, from tomorrow to Sunday.

The association has sent 12 athletes to the event and they left yesterday by road.

Some of the top fighters who will be flying the country’s flag are Mike Mando, Hastings Jailosi, Luckia Ali, Hajra Sinani, Alick John, Dyson Binga and Ivy Mkandawire.

Makba Secretary General Bright Limani said the worst they expect from the continental contest are silver medals.

“We have a squad of highly talented fighters who are hungry for success. We do not doubt the ability of our team to lift gold medals in South Africa. We did all we could to prepare our fighters for the competition and everything is in place,” Limani said.

He said they started their preparations with camping at Domasi in Zomba but failed to continue due to a shortage of resources.

“Our fighters returned home where they continued training. It is the passion they have for the game which gives us the confidence that we will do well. We may be new in the game but we have talented fighters. The worst we expect are silver or bronze medals but we will not come back home empty-handed,” Limani said.

He said in a worst case scenario, they expect their athletes to win silver medals.

Coach Nelson Kutchona said kickboxing has great potential in the country.

“We have a team of good fighters who have a future in the game. They are quick learners and they perform as if they have been in the game for many years. All we have to do is expose them to as many international competitions as possible so that they gain more experience,” Kutchona said.

This is the second time for Makba to send competitors to an international competition after the first outing in Harare, Zimbabwe, in May.

During the tournament, organized to commemorate Zimbabwe’s independence, Malawi won three gold and four silver medals.

The competition is a qualification platform for world combat games to be held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia next year.

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