Four Malawi draughts players will leave the country today for Bulgaria where they will participate at this year’s Draughts World Championship.
Confirming the development was president for the Association of Draughts in Malawi (ADMA) John Ngwenya who was speaking at a media briefing in Blantyre as the four players completed their preparations ahead of the tournament from 1st to 10th September.
Ngwenya identified the four players who are to board their flight at Chileka Airport as Moses Winesi who is Current Malawi Champion, Federation Master Madalitso Thom, International Master Enock Makoka Banda and Humble Bondo.
The ADMA president said Malawians should expect excellent results from the team on transit claiming that the players have got the much needed support from both stakeholders and government hence the assurance.
He said ADMA is grateful to government for providing about K15 million for air tickets, meals, accommodation, camping and visas which is 70 per cent support on the trip whilst the remaining 30 percent has been covered by African Draughts Federation (IDF) and other stakeholders.
“We have a very big expectation from our four member team. We expect them to do better than before. At least if they can be in the top 10, that will be a great achievement to me since this is their first tournament with me as a president.
“The preparations have so far gone so well and we are thanking the Malawi government and other stakeholders for the support they have rendered to us on this trip. We say thank you to the government,” said Nowata.
He further said that the trip to South Africa which the team had earlier this year in readiness for the Championship helped them a lot to sharpen the players’ skills and knowledge.
In his remarks, one of the players, International Master Enoch Makoka Banda, said they would like to surprise Malawians on this year’s draughts championship claiming that they have received the needed support so there is the possibility of doing well.
Makoka Banda added that they are eyeing top position although it is always difficult for African teams to make it into top 30, they are eyeing nothing but position one which he said he is sure will be so.
“Our inspiration as a team is to get the draughts world championship to surprise the nation and we are sure that we have all what it takes to win the championship. It had been hard for Africa to make it into top 30 but I can tell you that with the experience which we have we are seeing ourselves doing great,” said Banda.
This is the first time for Malawi to send four players at the international tournament as previously only one player could attend.
At the Championship which is held every 2 years, there are eleven teams from Africa such as Zambia, Ethiopia, South Africa, Ghana and DR Congo.
The other teams include Russia, Belarus, Latvia, France, USA and Brazil.