By Mphatso Malidadi:
Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) has expressed optimism that the country can get its first-ever medal at this year’s African Union Sports Council regional awards set for Namibia on May 25.
MNCS acting Executive Secretary, Henry Mereka, said Malawi has more chances of winning because there are six nominations this time as compared to last year’s three.
“We have six nominations in various categories, which is quite encouraging. We are just keeping our fingers crossed. We expect something because we have more nominations. We had three nominations last year and we did not get a medal. But we expect things to be better this time,” Mereka said.
The development comes after African Boxing Union and Commonwealth titles holder, Anisha Bashir, was nominated in two categories of Sports Personality of The Year and Sports Woman of The Year.
Bashir is up against South Africa’s athletics duo of Caster Semenya and Lerato Sechele for the Sports Woman of The Year Award.
The Malawian is also facing Semenya and Zimbabwean martial arts athlete, Wilfred Mashaya, in the Sports Personality of The Year Contest.
The list, which was released on Tuesday, has Malawi under-20 national netball team Coach Christina Mkwanda-Nsinji being nominated as the Coach of The Year alongside Gilbert Nyamutsamba of Zimbabwe Rugby and South Africa athletics mentor Samuel Sepeng.
Malawi under-20 national netball team will fight for the Team of The Year award against South Africa national women’s football team and Botswana 4×4 athletics team.
The country’s chess budding star, Blessings Kamanga, will face squash player Ryan Gwidzima of Zimbabwe and Zambian Kennedy Luchembe of athletics for the Junior Male Sports Person of The Year award.
Moneyi Chingaipe is battling with rower Lorryn Ashley Bass of Zimbabwe and Lesotho runner Mangabang Tsibela for the Female Junior Athlete of The Year award.
At last year’s event, Malawi was represented by rising football star Peter Banda, women’s football icon Tabitha Chawinga and coach Griffin Saenda Jnr.
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