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Malawi Queens dethroned

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A series of inconsistent performances and failure to participate at the Africa Netball Championship has consequently cost the Malawi national netball team, the Queens, a place in the  top five of the world’s best netball sides.

The latest International Federation of Netball Associations (Ifna) rankings released on August 3, 2015 indicate that the Queens are now on position six in the world. The Queens’ continental rivals South Africa, who have beaten the Queens in the last six meetings, have now moved into the fifth position.

The Queens now go into the Netball World Cup, which throws off on Friday in Australia, as the number two team in Africa, making their dreams of breaking into the world’s top four even harder.

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The Ifna rankings indicate that South Africa have played 38 matches and have gained a weight of 25. The Proteas have collected 3,396 points, according to the Ifna calculations.

On the other hand, the Queens have played 24 matches, gaining a weight of 16. They have accumulated 2,147 points. South Africa have a rating of 136 while the Queens are rated at 134.

World Cup hosts Australia are the number one team in the world followed by New Zealand.

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England are third on the rankings while Jamaica lay fourth. Thailand are the worst ranked team on position 32. The Queens finished second to South Africa at the Diamond Netball Challenge in South Africa earlier this year and they also failed to participate at the Africa Netball Championship due to lack of funds.

The Queens would now be looking for an improved performance at the Netball World Cup to regain their status as Africa’s top team and break into the world’s top four for the first time.

Going into the World Cup, Queens coach Peace Chawinga- Kalua, said she was not satisfied with the level of preparations they had after Netball Association of Malawi (Nam) only secured one strength-testing match against Trinidad and Tobago which was scheduled for yesterday.

“We did not have the best preparations but we have devised plans to make do with what with have,” said Chawinga-Kalua who fell out with Nam before leaving for Australia as she accused the association of interference in selection of the squad.

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