By Isaac Salima:
Seasoned athletes Mphatso Nadolo and Nalicy Chirwa improved their record but failed to equal Henry Moyo’s Blantyre Marathon record.
On a chilly day, Nadolo and Chirwa defended their titles in men’s and women’s category, respectively, of the Blantyre City Marathon Sunday.
However, despite an improved performance, their overall showing was not good enough to beat Moyo’s record of the 42.195km which stands at 2 hour 18 minutes. Consequently, they missed the K500,000 extra prize which sponsors put on the table.
Zomba-based Nadolo clocked 2 hours 22 minutes to beat his 2019 record when he made it in 2 hours 29 minutes while Chirwa covered the same distance in 3 hours 04 minutes to emerge women’s champion.
Chirwa in 2019 claimed the championship after clocking 3 hours 17 minutes.
Nadolo said he was pleased to have defended the title this year.
“I am grateful to my South Africa-based sponsor who supported me to achieve this. I also intensified my preparations and I am pleased that, at the end of the day, I have defended the title. My plea to the organisers is to consider revising upwards the prizes because, since the competition started, winners continue getting same cash prizes,” Nadolo said.
Chirwa challenged sponsors to come forth and support them so that they could perform even better.
In men’s section, veteran Kefasi Kasteni finished second after covering the distance in 2 hours 24 minutes while Ndacha Mcherenje won the bronze medal after finishing in 2 hours 27 minute.
In ladies category, Doris Fischer clocked 3 hours 13 minutes to claim the silver accolade while Caroline Brady was third after ending in 3 hours 16 minutes.
Minister of Youth and Sports Ulemu Msungama, who took part in aerobics session after completing the six-kilometre fun run, said government plans to make Blantyre City Marathon a national competition.
“It is in the interest of government to ensure that we promote all sporting activities in the country so I urge Malawi National Council of Sports officials [MNCS] to make this event national because my ministry is not for football or netball only,” Msungama said.
Msungama said he was pleased that the competition continues registering success as witnessed by increased participation.
Chairperson of the organising committee Martin Matululu said he was happy that the competition continues registering success.
“The other success story is that winners in both men’s and women’s have reduced time, meaning that there is an improvement. We then urge companies and other stakeholders to continue coming in to sponsor the competition so that we can consider the issue of increasing prizes,” Matululu said.
Sixty-nine athletes took part in this year’s event compared to 47 that participated in 2019’s edition.
There were also competitions in relay race, fun run and aerobics in which winners received assorted prizes.
MNCS started organising the event in 2018.