Asimenye Simwaka: Footballer and Athlete.

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While others seek her passion, Asimenye Simwaka has found two.

She was both a footballer and a promising athlete who put the country on the map by becoming the first Malawian to reach the quarter-finals of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Recently; She was named player of the match when Scorchers defeated Banyana to advance to the final of the Council of Southern Africa Football Association (Cosafa) women’s tournament.

The Scorchers’ forward and short-distance runner is hopeful that one day her exploits will spawn a lucrative deal with a foreign club. The athlete explained that it was difficult to train in both athletics and women’s football ; because each discipline requires a series of unique physical, technical and psychological tests. But she ignores the challenges as her goal is to land a lucrative deal in one of the sports disciplines.

The 24-year-old did not complete her nursing education at St. John of God College in Mzuzu in 2018 ; because her parents, peasants in the village of Mwenelupembe in the traditional authority (T / A) Kyungu area in Karonga, do not have enough money for her fees. Until now, Asimenye has lived with her older sister in Mzuzu where she practices track and field in the morning before going to practice women’s football in the afternoon on weekdays.

Asimenye started athletics in 2019 when, coming out of the blues, she competed and won the senior ladies 10 kilometer race at the National Cross-Country Championship at Mzuzu Golf Club. “I remember everything that day very well,” rewinds Asimenye Simwaka at World Athletics. I left home and went to Mzuzu Golf Club where the cross country was to be held. When I first came to the club, I saw athletes registering to participate in the race. For a while, I thought it was only for selected people. I walked over, gathered my courage, and then decided to register to participate. It was my first time, you would have thought I would go into the junior category, but somehow I ended up entering the senior women 10,000m category. This try was going to turn into a masterstroke. Since the 24-year-old takes the gold in 42:48.

It was after this moment that she realized that she could juggle women’s football and track and field to see which one might be the best to make ends meet. Her determination to succeed in track and field was laid bare a few months ago when she ran at the top of her lungs in a 100-meter race to finish second behind Joella Lloyd of Antigua and Barbuda in 11.76 seconds at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics. Japan. Her vintage performance qualified her for the quarter-finals, but failed to advance to the semi-final after settling for eighth in 11.68 seconds.

Despite this, the feat was not only enough to help her achieve three national records in the 100m, 200m and 400m, but also to qualify her for the next African Athletics Championship.

The Mzuzu-based track and field athlete is also a reliable striker for the women’s national soccer team. During her Olympic exploits, Asimenye missed many matches for her club Topik Super Dynamos in the Malawi Football Association (FAM) Women’s Cup, but managed to score eight goals in all three matches. in which she participated.

Asimenye started playing women’s football after graduating from high school in 2014, but got her first national team call-up in 2018.

Like most female athletes, especially footballers, she has suffered all kinds of abuse from the public for her passion, but she remains steadfast in the pursuit of her goals.

Ursulla.E

Crédit photo: Kulinji

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