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No medal from Rio

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They hogged the limelight for outshining Brazilian Samba dancers, but 11 days into the Rio Olympic Games there is no hint that Malawi’s five-member team will win a medal.

Malawi’s medal dream faded after runner, Tereza Master, finished on 98th place out of 133 participants in women’s full marathon (42 km) on Sunday. Master clocked 2:48:34.

Athletics Association of Malawi General Secretary, Frank Chitembeya, yesterday said he expected the experienced Master to perform better and finish around 40.

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“Any way it is not easy reducing time at that level. Slowly, we will get there,” Chitembeya said.

Kenyan Jemima Jelagat won the race in 2:24:14. Some 141 athletes registered for the marathon but eight did not last the distance.

Earlier, another Malawian swimmer, Brave Lifa, clocked 28.54 in 50m freestyle to finish on position 83 out of 85 athletes.

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Another swimmer, Ammara Pinto, too, had her time in the pool yesterday, completing 50m freestyle in 30:32 to emerge 71st out of 88 swimmers from across the world.

Last week, Malawi’s sole archer at the competition, Areneo David, lost to Italian Pasqualucci David, who is ranked third in the world.

But according to a report from Malawi’s Leader of Delegation, John Kaputa, the archer from Lilongwe has improved. Areneo is ranked 62nd in the world.

“Areneo has performed better than all other competitions he has participated before. The athlete from Italy has been in the sport of archery for 13 years. He has a golden future if we invest in him,” Kaputa was quoted as saying.

Another runner Kefasi Kasiteni Chitsala, who hogged the limelight at the Olympic Village when he gatecrashed a troope of Samba dances to display his silky dancing antics, will be in action tomorrow in 5000 metres.

Chitsala, 22, is a self-styled best dancer at the Games, according to www.olympic.org.

“I am the greatest dancer in the Olympic Village. I would definitely win the gold. I have done it since I was very small, and we have some great traditional dances in our country, so I thought people needed to see them. People in Rio and Malawi are the same. We love to have fun,” the Lilongwe athlete is quoted as saying.

Malawi has never produced a qualified athlete let alone won a medal at the Games due to, among others, lack of investment in Long Term Athlete Development, poor infrastructure and incentives.

The five athletes are competing at the Games on Olympic Solidarity—a quota for a country that has not produced a qualified athlete.

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