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Mwawi Kumwenda ends 4-year absence

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BACK HOME AT LAST— Kumwenda on arrival

Malawi netball icon Mwawi Kumwenda returned home through Chileka International Airport in Blantyre Monday to join Malawi Netball National Team camp training for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.

The Queens’ training is taking place at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe and the team is expected to depart for Birmingham on Thursday.

This would be Mwawi’s fourth appearance at the Commonwealth Games.

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The former Kukoma Diamonds superstar is in the country with full blessings from her Australia Suncorp Super Netball League side Melbourne Vixens which congratulated her for earning the call-up.

“Congratulations to our star goaler, Mwawi Kumwenda, on being selected to represent the Malawian Queens in her fourth Commonwealth Games. What a phenomenal achievement,” a post on Vixens’ Facebook page reads.

Netball Association of Malawi vice president Chimwemwe Bakali described Mwawi’s return as great news.

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“Mwawi is certainly among the best netball players in the world and any team would be pleased to have her. We missed her services for the four years she was out and we welcome her back with joy and love.

“We are expecting her to join camp any day this week ahead of the team’s departure on Thursday,” Bakali said.

Mwawi said she was excited to link up with her Queens teammates again after about four years.

“It feels great to return. I really missed home. The extra joy comes from the fact that I will be re-joining the Malawi Queens. It feels good to be part of the national team.

“I am super excited and I can’t wait to learn from the girls and share my experience with them. I am grateful for this wonderful opportunity to serve my country,” she said.

In preparation for the Games, the Queens played in two Tri-Nation tournaments in Blantyre and Cape Town, South Africa, last month which ended in mixed fortunes.

Malawi took on Namibia and Zimbabwe in the Blantyre tournament and won all games but luck eluded the Queens in Cape Town as they failed to register any win in all their assignments against England and the hosts.

Mwawi missed both events as Vixens still had games to play until July 3.

In July 2018, the shooter suffered a serious anterior cruciate ligament injury to her left knee during a match against West Coast Fever after an awkward landing.

This forced her to miss the rest of the 2018 season.

Kumwenda was also unable to link up with the Queens in 2020 and 2021 as there were no flights to and from Australia due to a lockdown.

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