By Mphatso Malidadi:
Malawi’s budding athlete, Moneyi Chingaipe, has become the first Malawian to win a medal at this year’s African Union Sports Council Regional Annual Sports Awards.
Moneyi was named the best junior athlete in Southern Africa in Windhoek, Namibia, on Saturday.
She received a miniature and monetary prize of R50,000 (about K2.5 million).
The 17-year-old runner overcame rower Lorryn Ashley Bass of Zimbabwe and fellow runner Manqabang Tsibela from Lesotho to bag the regional accolade.
Malawi National Council of Sports acting Executive Secretary, Henry Mereka, congratulated Moneyi for achieving the rare feat.
Mereka said the youthful athlete had done the nation proud and hoped her feat would motivate others to strive for gold in international competitions.
“We, as a nation, are delighted. This is no mean achievement and we applaud our athletes and officials for a job well done. Competition was stiff and they are all winners. We salute them because being nominated for the top prize at that level is no mean achievement,” he said.
Mereka said Moneyi had also underlined the significance of the Malawi Sport Awards introduced last year.
“This proves how credible the Malawi Sport Awards ceremony is and we encourage all sport lovers to support it as it is putting Malawi on the map,” he said.
Other Malawian nominees who were in the running for the awards were female boxing star Anisha Bashir, Malawi under-20 national netball team Coach Christina Mkwanda-Nsinji and Blessings Kamanga of chess.
The three did not return empty handed as they received R5,000 (about K250,000 each).
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