College of Medicine Sports Complex has said athletes from eight countries have confirmed their participation in the International Cycling Race to be held in Blantyre on May 13.
One of the event’s organizers, Geoff Biya, said they expect about 80 cyclists to compete for the K1.8 million top prize.
Biya said the race will start from Sports Complex from where the cyclists will ride into Masauko Chipembere Highway before joining Midima Road.
“They will then take the Mulanje-Thyolo Road and ride through Luchenza and Thyolo on their way to the finishing line at Sports Complex,” Biya said.
Biya said the main objective of the race is to raise about K70 million, K50 million of which will be donated to Neno District’s Lisungwe Hospital Maternity wing which has just one bed.
He said they have received confirmations from countries such as South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.
Biya said they intend to get more partners on board in a quest to fulfill their goals.
“We have already contacted the government through the Malawi National Council of Sports. We believe they will partner us in addition to the many companies that we expect to come on board. This is a noble cause which requires everybody’s support,” Biya said.
Meanwhile, one of South Africa’s top cyclists, Dhlamini Nhlanhla, who is also a member of the African Cyclists Federation, has confirmed his participation and visited the country recently to examine the route.
He was joined by fellow South African cyclist Bradley Robert.
Local cyclist Edward Mtsonyo said he was geared to take on the foreign competitors and scoop gold.
“This competition has come at the right time to me as I aim at making it big in my career. I have always wanted to compete in such big races but the problem is that here in Malawi, most companies do not show interest in supporting us,” Mtsonyo said.
This is the first-ever high profile cycling event to be organised by the Sports Complex.
The facility is a high performance centre specialising in physical, psychological and fitness training in social and physical health.
Peter Fote is a Sports Journalist with huge experience in radio and Television reporting, production and presentation. He once worked with Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and is currently working for Times Media Group.