Paralympics athlete wins medal at world stage

Malawi Paralympics athlete Taonere Banda finished second to win a silver medal in the 400 metres (m) women’s event in 1:11:54 minutes at World Paralympic Athletic Grand Prix 2019 competition held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Zambian Monica Munga won gold medal in 1:08:40 minutes while Taola Seneo of Botswana clocked 1:21:04 to win a bronze medal.

Banda (2ndR), Kachulu (2ndL) and Puwa receives donation

Malawi Paralympic Committee (MPC) president James Chiutsi was impressed with the achievement, saying it gives room for Malawi to excel.

“That is encouraging. We are becoming capable of competing at international stage. At this rate, we are sure [Taonere] will qualify for 2020 Tokyo Paralympics because of this outstanding performance,” he said.

For finishing on second position, Banda received an equivalent of K220 000.

Meanwhile, Prisca Kachule, an athlete with albinism, was disqualified after failing classification assessment.

“This means her visual impairment was deemed not to fall into the category of athletes with visual impairment.

“As MPC, we are supposed to have adequate medical equipment and skills to properly test the athletes at home, which we do not have at the moment. Actually, it’s the problem for athletes in the developing countries,” Chiutsi said.

At press time, another Malawian athlete Alinafe Puwa was competing in the 400m men race.

The Dubai competition is a qualifying competition for 2020 Tokyo International Paralympics Grand competition in Japan.

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