Malawi’s sole netball export Mwawi Kumwenda has all but won the International World Games Association (IWGA) Athlete of the Year award which will be announced today.
IWGA last official results released five days before the close of the polls tipped in favour of the Malawian netballer who plays for Tactix of New Zealand.
“Looking at the preliminary results after nearly four weeks of voting, Mwawi Kumwenda from Malawi is still leading with 13 655 votes. The 26-year-old netball player has achieved a huge lead on entering the final stretch.
“Second is the Russian dance couple, Dmitry Zharkov and Olga Kulikova, who have collected 5 558 votes. The third place currently goes to the flying disc beach ultimate mixed team from Germany (4 457 votes),” IWGA posted on their website.
Meanwhile, as we went to press yesterday Mwawi’s campaigners continued wooing votes for the Queens shooter.
Our Queens Pour Pride (OQOP), a Facebook page for the Malawi netball team posted: “As we are getting closer and closer to the finish, OQOP cannot emphasize enough the importance of hastening the votes. Russia seems to have woken up and so it might end up being a race to the finish.
“This is exactly why as Malawians and for Mwawi, we need to get the message out there, make the appeals in various groups that you may be involved in and get people to vote again and again. Make this viral.”
Mwawi ‘s manager Hlupikile Chalamba thanked Malawians for their support.
“She will definitely take the trophy. I am excited for the support she got from all her fans and Malawians, not forgetting her team in New Zealand,” Chalamba said.
As she awaited the officials announcements, Mwawi said she was moved by the campaign Malawians mounted for her success.
She said: “As we turn the corner into the final stretch of this race, I want to thank you all for having my back and honouring me with your votes since this race started. I am deeply moved by the expression of love and determination.
“I am grateful, in a special way, to you the Facebook community, for so generously contributing your time and effort to campaign to all your friends and beyond. Liking posts, sharing posts, making comments with words of encouraging, and voting; all these are why we have amassed the thousands of votes we now have. Without your support, I could not have gone this far.
“Not only have you lifted me and Malawi higher, But all netball players and lovers out there too are, am sure, grateful. I look forward to finishing this race, with you all by my side.” n