The Malawi Olympic Committee (MOC) has rewarded four athletes for their splendid performances during the All Corners Track and Field Event in Zambia with Stern Lifa and Asimenye Simwaka getting a lion’s share of the cash prizes.
The two became the first Malawian athletes to qualify for the Africa Senior event on merit during the championship held at the Heroes Stadium in Lusaka last weekend. Each got K200 000.
Lifa won bronze in 100 metres after clocking 10.36 seconds to beat his previous personal best of 10.58 seconds while Simwaka secured bronze in 400 metres after clocking 52.59.
Other athletes Mercy Malembo and Sunganani Namakonje, who did not win any medals, received K100 000 each for improving on their previous records while coach Pachisi Nyasulu was awarded K200 000.
Presenting the cheques, MOC president Jappie Mhango said the athletes performed beyond expectations as the results set Simwaka and Lifa on the path towards Tokyo Olympic Games qualification.
He said: “We are overwhelmed by the results. This is why we have decided to reward you. We will continue supporting you until you achieve your dreams of qualifying for the Olympic Games.”
Mhango also said MOC has approached the Ministry of Youth and Sports to book the athletes an audience with President Lazarus Chakwera.
Meanwhile, Minister of Youth and Sports Ulemu Msungama has said the government is looking at how best it can reward the athletes as well as boxer Hannock Phiri who won the World Boxing Federation All Africa lightweight belt after beating Tanzanian Jonas Segu on Friday.
“As a ministry, we are proud of the achievement by our athletes who won bronze medals in Zambia as well as our boxer who won an international belt.
“We have asked for reports from the respective sports bodies to assist us on how best we can honour the athletes,” said the minister.
Meanwhile, Lifa has hailed MOC for the rewards, saying they will motivate them to continue fighting for the Olympic Games qualification.