Mangochi — The Malawi Aquatic Union (MAU) says the Malawi National Swimming team has the potential to win more medals despite the team’s poor performance at the 2019 CANA Zone IV Competition held in Namibia recently.
Malawi returned home on Friday with eight medals: 1 gold, 5 silver, and 2 bronze medals, sinking down to the bottom position of 12 out of 12 countries that got medals from the 14 countries that participated in the competition.
South Africa emerged top on medal count, amassing 82 medals comprising 36 gold medals, 25 silver medals, and 21 bronze medals, followed by Namibia with 28 gold medals, 31 silver medals, and 29 bronze medals, totaling 88 medals.
Mauritius came third with 15 gold medals, 16 silver medals, and 18 bronze medals, a total of 49 medals, while Zimbabwe came on fourth position with 13 gold medals, 11 silver medals, and 12 bronze metals totaling 36 medals.
On points, Malawi was weighed down to the bottom position of 12 out of 14 countries with an overall of 347 points beating Eswatini and Tanzania who scored 127 and 8 respectively.
Namibia scored the highest with 2,577 points beating South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana who scored 1,993, 1908.50 and 1,501.50 points respectively emerging in positions second, third and fourth in that order.
However, MAU Vice President, Monica Chang’anamuno said on Monday they were not discouraged with the results adding that the Malawi Swimming National Team has the potential to do better.
“The competition ran from 16th to 20th February. We have done well though the medals were won by one swimmer, Filipe Gomes, but the rest still managed to beat their personal best times which is a great improvement and good for Malawi,” Chang’anamuno told Mana.
“Swimming has a bright future in Malawi but we need more stakeholders to support the sport. We have potential swimmers who just need support to train more,” she added.
In July 2018 after a two-week swimming camp in Mangochi, the MAU Vice President also called upon government and stakeholders to invest in the sport, saying as a nation, Malawi did not have public swimming pools which could be used for training.
The Malawian team that participated in the CANA (African Swimming Competition) Zone 4 in Namibia this year comprised 11 swimmers, four males and seven females.
The males were Filipe Gomes who, according to Chang’anamuno, trains in Portugal; Asher Banda from Bishop Mackenzie High School; Akunzike Kunsinda from St. Andrews High School and Mohammed Ali Moosa from ABC Christian Academy.
The female swimmers were Ammara Pinto who trains in Thailand; Tayamika Chang’anamuno from ABC Christian Academy; Jessica Makwenda from Kamuzu Academy; Tracy Chizonda learning in Uganda and Jennifer Kayuni from ABC Christian Academy.
The other two were Olivia Losacco from Bishop Mackenzie High School and Zoe Rebello from Mt. Sinai High School.
According to Chang’anamuno, this was the first time for Malawi to send a team of all Malawian passport holders with locals in majority.
Other competing countries included Seychelles, Angola, Kenya, Zambia, Mozambique and Uganda.