Frustrations have reached uncontrollable levels in the mind of prominent cyclist Missi Kathumba who has since decided to stop participating in competitions organised by the Cycling Federation of Malawi (CFM).
Kathumba, who represented Malawi at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India, said during the week that he will only be competing in the annual Illovo Classic Cycling Race because he gets peanuts in other contests such as Presidential Initiative on Sports (PIS) Championships and Luwawa Race.
The 25-year-old said he is also not fully supported even when he represents the country at some international events where he borrows bikes from organisers for him to contest.
Before he boycotted the 2013 Presidential finals alongside other top cyclists due to similar reasons about three weeks ago, Kathumba had consecutively defended the PIS and the Luwawa titles thrice each and he did it four times in the Illovo Race.
At the 2010 Commonwealth Games, he emerged on position 20 in his group despite experiencing difficulties with the bike he borrowed from organisers. In 2008, he did not finish the race at the Africa Continental Championships in Morocco after his bike developed a fault on the way.
“I would have loved to continue so as to help my country win at least a medal at international events, but the difficult circumstances I am going through have forced me out,” he said. “In spite of that, I will only be taking part in the Illovo Race because I get good incentives.”
However, Cycling Federation of Malawi (CFM) general secretary Jimmy Kadewere told Nation on Sunday yesterday that Kathumba’s decision would not, in any way, negatively affect them.
“Izo ndi zake [We do not care]. Since it is his own decision, let him go. We will find his replacement. His departure will be a blessing in disguise as it will create an opening for the new cyclists we are producing to shine in the sport. Munthu umakula, umasiya [there always comes a time for one to retire],” he said.
During the recent PIS contest in Dwangwa, Nkhotakota, CFM told contestants to foot own bills for transport, accommodation and food.