Athletics Association of Malawi (AAM) has set itself an ambitious target to become the first Malawi Olympic Committee (MOC) affiliate to produce a qualified athlete for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
AAM president Godfrey Phiri said this in reaction to MOC’s four-year strategic plan whose ultimate aim is to esnure that Malawi moves from being mere participants in international competitions to competitors.
The plan, launched on Friday in the commercial capital, Lilongwe, wants Malawi to produce at least five qualified athletes by 2016.
“We have a team which we have been grooming since last year when we participated in Zone VI Games in Zambia. We are exposing them to international competitions. We will have our own strategic plan using MOC’s as a model,” Phiri said.
Kephas Kesten, who won Ching’ombe National Cross-country recently, also claimed a gold medal at the Zone VI in Zambia. He is seen as the future of Malawi athletics.
Kestin is among the athletes destined for Lesotho later this week for an African Championship.
During the plan’s launch at the Presidential Hotel, MOC bailed out AAM by donating K500 000 (about $1 428) for the squad’s transport expenses.
AAM general secretary Frank Chitembeya described the donation as a boost for the athletes likely to leave for Maseru by today, Tuesday.
Malawi participates in Olympics and Commonwealth Games on solidarity due to athletes’s failure to meet the world standard qualifying time for various disciplines.