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Malawi athletes in poor start

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Four Malawian athletes failed to impress on the track as they competed for the first time at the on-going Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast City, Australia, on Sunday.

The four–Dalitso Gunde, Golden Gunde, Gervazio Mpani and Chancy Master—are part of the seven-member Malawi athletics’ team at the Games.

Dalitso and Golden competed in 400 metres heats while Mpani and Master ran in 5,000 metres.

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Dalitso finished last in his heat in 51.59 seconds in what turned out to be his personal best time.

The heat’s winner, Machel Cedenio of Trinidad and Tobago, clocked 45.68 seconds to outclass eight runners.

Golden was also not good enough to make the semi-final list as he finished sixth out of seven competitors, in 48.39 seconds.

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Winner Bralon Taplin of St. Vincent and the Grenadines clocked 45.11 seconds.

Mpani finished the 5,000 metres race in 14.30 minutes to emerge 13th while Master was 15th out of 16 runners in 14.50 minutes.

Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei won the contest in 13.50 minutes.

Athletics Association of Malawi General Secretary, Frank Chitembeya, insisted that the athletes’ performance was satisfactory.

“They had limited time for preparations unlike their fellow competitors from other countries who had more than six months in training. We believe that with, more time for camp training, they could have done better,” Chitembeya said.

The remaining three athletes– Ndacha Mcherenje, Benedicto Makumba and Kefas Kasteni— are waiting for their turn as medals continue to elude Malawi.

Makumba was scheduled to compete yesterday in the 800 metres category while Kasten will be on the track in 10,000 metres’ event.

Mcherenje will have to wait until the last day of the tournament, April 15, to compete in the full marathon.

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