Swimmers left behind


By Mphatso Malidadi

The first delegation of Team Malawi left the country yesterday ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics expected to run from July 23 to August 8.

However, two swimmers Phillip Gomez and Jessica Makwenda alongside their coach Yona Walesi did not travel with the delegation as the host city, Ōita, does not have a standard facility for aquatic sport.


Leader of delegation Flora Mwandira confirmed this before departure at Kamuzu International Airport yesterday saying the athletes will undergo a two-week camp at Ōita C ity.

“We are going to camp at Ōita City which is very ready to assist our athletes as far as facilities are concerned. This is why we have left behind swimming because at Ōita City they do not have facilities for swimming. Therefore, swimming delegation will join us on July 17,” she said.

The Malawi Olympic Committee vice President also said it was justifiable for the body to send eight officials, four coaches [including a Japan based judo coach] and five athletes.


“It is difficult to understand when you are out there. These games are for International Olympic Committee (IOC) and they have their own protocols as far as the games are concerned. We should also understand that these games are for solidarity to bring together all the nations. The nations cannot be represented by athletes only but also officials like Moc president and general secretary who are going there under the ticket of IOC. The Minister of Sports and government officials are also travelling following protocols as they were invited,” she said.

Judo athlete Harriet Boniface said she was prepared to win a medal at the games.

“I have prepared thoroughly. The two-week camp will also help me to fine tune as I will link up with my coach [Ryoma Kudo] who is already there,” she said.

Athletics Coach Pachisi Nyasulu also backed budding star Asimenye Simwaka to smash the 100m national record.

“We will work on speed workout. Since our return from Cameroon where she won gold, we have been working on the technical aspects of her game where she was being delayed. We feel she can break the 100m national record and also qualify for the African Championships,” he said.

David Areneo (Archery) and his coach Tawina Mtaya are also part of the delegation.

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