Malawi Olympic Committee outlines 2020 Olympics’ ambition
Malawi Olympic Committee (MOC), a body mandated to coordinate the country’s 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games’ participation, has developed strategies aimed at ensuring local athletes’ qualification for the Japan event.
Local athletes have never qualified for the games. The athletes, instead, participate in such games on solidarity grounds and they have never won a medal.
However, MOC hopes to change that trend using the new four-year strategic plan, launched in Lilongwe last Friday.
The plan has introduced incentives to reward associations that will produce qualified athletes for the games.
MOC President, Oscar Kanjala, said the committee was also planning to send two athletes to the 2018 Commonwealth Games, win, at least, one medal and achieve a top-50 position.
“We want to ensure that at least one athlete qualifies with ‘A’ standard for competing in the 2020 Olympic Games and goes beyond the first-round of the competition. We also want to ensure that at least two athletes qualify for Youth Commonwealth and Olympic Games and achieve a top-16 position,” Kanjala said.
The committee has also introduced a special high performance project for prioritised sporting codes in preparation for major games.
The association is also planning to review and improve on a reward and incentive programme for podium performers.
According to Kanjala, the 2013-2016 strategic plan was implemented without proper coordination with some sports associations, a thing he said would be addressed to ensure effectiveness of the new plan.
Wrestling Federation of Malawi General Secretary, Dennis Kumwenda, said his body would strive to send athletes to the Japan games on merit.
“Our aim is to send qualified athletes to Tokyo Games. We are planning to organise national championships and international games so that we identify athletes who will represent the country. By 2018, we will start intensive training with the qualified athletes so that they prepare for the games,” Kumwenda said.
Athletics Association of Malawi General Secretary, Frank Chitembeya, also outlined plans aimed at producing top athletes.
“We want to make sure that our athletes perform well in international games,” Chitembeya said.
Usually, Malawi sends more officials than athletes to such games. A few years ago, MOC launched a bring-a-medal campaign dangling K1 million for any athlete who would win a medal at a major competition. However, such an incentive did not bear dividends.
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