Malawi’s netball icon Mwawi Kumwenda has taken the lead in votes cast in the International World Games Association Athlete/Team of the Year contest.
By Saturday afternoon, the 2015 World Netball Cup player of the tournament had amassed 3,035 votes ahead of Russian dance couple of Dmitry and Olga Kulikova who had 2,488.
On the third position is the Flying Disc Beach Ultimate Mixed Team from Germany with 1,570 votes.
The association’s website says the results are only preliminary since voting has been open for just 10 days.
“The title race is still open. When it comes to choosing the IWGA Athlete/Team of the Year, the decisive vote has not yet been cast. Until January 31st supporters can still help their favourite athlete(s) win by voting on our the website.
It further encourages friends and fans of a particular sport, athlete or team to continue casting their votes daily.
“Those who know how to mobilise their supporters can still come out on top. Voting closes on January 31st,” it concludes.
Malawians commenting on the website continue to mobilise support for the celebrated netballer, asking for more votes to be cast in her name.
Eluphy Banda-Nyirenda of Kasungu commented that she had voted and would continue to increase her fellow Malawian’s chances of winning.
Abbie Nkhongoza Siula simply wrote: “Our Africa, our pride…. Vote for Mwawi, vote for Malawi.”
“Our Mwawi, our luck. Malawian luck. African luck. Go girl,” commented Fiskani Triza.
A total of 18 contestants from all over the world are seeking votes and Mwawi is the only one from Africa, and also the only black athlete. There is no indication if there is money attached to the awards.
On voting rules, the website says: “You can give one vote for your candidate once every 24 hours. If you provide us your name, surname and e-mail address and agree to receive our newsletter you will be able to give two votes at once instead of only one (see details in the confirmation email you will receive)”