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Tabitha Chawinga finally off to China

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Malawi National Women’s Football Team Captain Tabitha Chawinga has finally flown out to her base in China to start pre-season training with her Chinese Women’s Super League club Jiang Sunning.

Tabitha left the country on Wednesday, leaving her younger sister Temwa behind.

Temwa, who also plays in China for Wuhan, is expected to start off in a week.

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The sisters delayed their return to the Asian nation due to Covid travel restrictions.

Tabitha said she was excited to return.

“I have been looking forward to going back to my club and I cannot wait to meet my teammates. It is time we get back to business, doing what we know best. The new season is coming and we must get ready,” Chawinga said in an interview from Nairobi, Kenya, while waiting for a connecting flight to China.

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Tabitha had a difficult season in 2020 but still managed to guide her side to second position in the league.

She scored seven goals, 10 behind golden boot winner Barbara Banda of Zambia who plays for Shanghai.

Temwa said she could not leave on the same day with her sister because her air ticket had some issues.

“I could not travel with Tabitha because my ticket has some problems. I expect to leave within a week or two. Right now my agent is sorting out everything,” she added.

The delays will force Temwa to play catch-up when she returns as her team commenced pre-season training in January.

In her debut season, Temwa helped Wuhan to their first-ever championship with nine goals.

The Chinese Women’s Super League is expected to start next month.

Both Tabitha and Temwa featured for Malawi during last year’s Cosafa Cup tournament in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, where the Scorchers were knocked out in the semifinals after a humiliating 6-2 thumping at the hands of champions South Africa.

Tabitha finished the regional showpiece with seven goals, one short of Golden Boot award-winner Sibulele Holweni of South Africa.

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