Mphatso Nadolo shrugged off route marshal from using a shortcut of Blantyre 42.19km Race; Led to his disqualification after coming first

Nadolo being assisted by medics after he collapsed

* The race’s jury verified that the athlete shrugged him off by slapping his outstretched hands

* Insisting to run through a footpath towards the Mudi River bridge along Victoria Avenue

* Nadolo wept miserably and collapsed after losing out to a whopping K1.5 million cash prize

By Victor Singano Jnr, Correspondent

Champion of the 2021 Blantyre Marathon for the past two years, Mphatso Nadolo finished on first position on Sunday in the men’s category of the Blantyre 42.19km Race but he was later disqualified after it was established that he used a shortcut along the route.


The race’s head of technical, Mzee Makawa, said as Nadolo approached Victoria Avenue from Catholic Institute (CI) in Sunnyside, a route marshal made all efforts to guide him towards the main road but it is reported that the athlete shrugged him off by slapping his outstretched hands — insisting to run through a footpath towards the Mudi River bridge.

Makawa said Nadolo flouted the race’s rules and regulations and after a jury had verified what he did, it decided to disqualify him.

When he was told of the verdict at the finish, Kamuzu Stadium, Nadolo wept miserably and collapsed, and was promptly assisted back to sanity by medics.

His action led him to miss a whopping K1.5 million prize money, which went to his runner-up, Austine Sukali, who finished in a time of 2:32:42.

Makawa emphasized that all athletes were invited to sample the whole route in a Malawi National Council of Sports coach, but very few took the opportunity, saying probably the veterans knew it by heart.

The Zomba-based Nadolo, who clocked 2:24:48, was shy by less than two minutes of the time he made last year of 2:22:58 and in 2019 he finished in 2:29:38.

McDonald Mangani was declared runner-up in 2:35:42 while Edson Kumwamba — on his third try of the street marathon finished third in 2:38:42.


There was the usual winners in ladies category that saw Nalicy Chirwa retaining the title in 3:02:57, Doris Fischer as runner-up in 3:12:16 and Tereza Master on third in 3:13:46.

The women’s national record’s benchmark was clocked by Tereza Master at 2:48:21, which was her personal best she set at the Rio Olympic Games in Brazil

Chirwa’s runner-up was Doris Fisher clocked in 3:13:13 in 2021 and in she has retained the silver medal he attained in 2018 and 2019.

Kumwamba, who relocated to Malawi from South Africa where he had been participating in ultra marathons (extreme sports) took away the bronze from his fellow Mulanje Athletics Club member, Jafali Jossam — who came third last year in 2:27:44 — his personal best as in 2019 he was also third in his first-ever marathon in a time of 2:34:37.


The two champions received K1.5 million each, second-placed K1 million each and the third position finishers went away with K500,000 each.

In his remarks just before prize presentation at Kamuzu Stadium, guest of honour, Minister of Youth and  Sports, Richard Chimwendo Banda pledged that the government is committed to make sure that all minority sporting disciplines are revived in the country.

Chimwendo Banda said he was  impressed with the event’s organization of which he described it as successful and graceful.

However, while he was impressed of this year’s competition, the Minister it is very worrisome that some of the sporting activities in the country are lacking attention from stakeholders as majority of them focuses much on major sporting disciplines such as football and a little bit netball — a development which he said is affecting and forcing minority sports not to grow.

He, therefore, said his Ministry are taking up an initiative whose main objective is to revive minority sports.

“You will accept that despite puting much attention to the major sporting disciplines when it comes to international tournaments, it is the minority sports that represent our flag very well despite the little support they get.

“So, as government, we want to level the playing field by making sure that all the sporting disciplines in the country are well supported by the corporate world, business people, and others so that we can produce skilful athletes.”

He also described the need to make marathons to be conducted regularly and not annually in order to properly identify talent.

Sports Council Board chairperson, Sunduzwayo Madise said he was overwhelmed with the number of participants who took part in this year’s competition — which he said is a sign that the country is blessed with talented athletes who need to be encouraged.


He said the marathon is crucial to every athlete and fun to the supporters and as such need to be happening in all the regions.

The Blantyre Marathon route is quite daunting as several parts are uphill. It starts from Ginnery Corner roundabout in Blantyre to Chichiri roundabout where it branches off towards Kwacha Roundabout all the way to TVM, past St. Columbus CCAP Church and all the way to Kudya trading centre.

At Kudya, the route heads towards Zingwangwa and all the way to Stella Maris Secondary School where it turns a steep uphill towards Moneymen Club then past CI down to Mudi River Bridge along Victoria Avenue.

Then there is a steep climb all the way to Sunbird Mount Soche Hotel in Blantyre Central Business District and goes down to what is popularly known as Kandodo Corner Shop where it branches off to Mbayani.

From Motel Paradise there is another steep climb up to what is known as Pa Malandrover and goes downhill for another sharp rise to Kameza Kameza roundabout before turning towards Machinjiri turn off where there is the Ernegem Filling Station.

The route then heads into Machinjiri, in uphill past Luwanda Trading Centre; Area 5; Mkolokoti, Makhetha before joining the road from Zomba.

Here it’s downhill past Lever Brothers; past Maselema Roundabout and reaching Chichiri Roundabout where it branches off Makata road and into Kamuzu Stadium for the finish line in front of the VIP Stand.—Additional reporting by Duncan Mlanjira, Maravi Express