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Hail the Queens

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After a seven-year wait, Malawi Netball Queens have won their first bronze medal at the Fast5 Netball World Series following their dramatic 35-32 victory over England in a third-place play-off in Australia 0n Sunday.

The competition took place at Hisense Arena, in Melbourne, where the world’s top-six ranked netball national teams competed in the hybrid version of netball.

Although the result will have no bearing on world rankings where the Queens are on position six, it gives hope to the nation that with proper planning and support, Malawi can break into the top-four band of world championships.

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Following the return of Coach, Griffin Saenda to the Queens fold, the team has finally broken the jinx at Fast5 Netball Series.

The coach made bold decisions on players’ selection by ending appeasement policy which was affecting the team’s performance.

Unfit Sindie Simtowe-Msowoya was left out alongside Beatrice Mpinganjira and Kukoma Diamonds’ shooter, Alinafe Kamwala.

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Therefore, it did not come as a surprise after Malawi finished above giants, England and Jamaica, for the first time at the tournament.

Jamaica settled for a fifth place with South Africa being pushed to sixth position.

It all started on Saturday when the Queens bounced back from 23-24 and 43-22 losses to Australia and England, respectively, to upset Jamaica 46-12 then South Africa 36-21 on Sunday, to book a third-place play-off with England, and with it a chance to revenge the preliminary round.

During the third-place play-off, Malawi led 8-5 in the first quarter before stretching their lead to 17-10 in the second.

In the third quarter, England’s power-play paid off and they led 26-21.

In the final quarter, Malawi rallied late to all but announce their arrival on the world stage.

Malawi’s star player, Mwawi Kumwenda, was over the moon with the result.

“We are so excited to be number three. We have had a long time losing so it is good for us. I was excited for me and the girls,” she told fast5worldseries.com.

Despite the result, English defender, Geva Mentor, was full of praises for the Fast5 World Series.

Nam General Secretary, Carol Bapu, said they were excited with the team’s success.

“Peoples questioned us for hiring male coaches, but I guess the results have spoken. It just shows that with planning and adequate preparations, Malawi Queens can become

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