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Tough call

Queens drawn against top sides England, New Zealand

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Peace Chawinga Kaluwa

Malawi National Netball Team should brace for tough times at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games after being drawn against top-ranked sides England and New Zealand.

This has prompted Malawi Coach Peace Chawinga-Kaluwa to call for thorough preparations ahead of the Games.

The Queens are in Group B of the competition alongside heavyweights New Zealand and hosts England while Group A consists of Australia, Jamaica and South Africa.

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The other slots in the two groups will be filled after conclusion of qualifying games where teams such as Scotland, Uganda and Barbados are favoured to make it.

Chawinga-Kaluwa said she believed the Queens could shine at the Games if they prepare adequately.

“There are no easy matches at such big tournaments. We just need to prepare well. We failed to prepare well for the Pent Series and Africa Netball Cup.

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“We trained for only four days for two competitions and this was not enough. We should not do this again as we look forward to competing at the Commonwealth Games,” she said.

Chawinga-Kaluwa said the Queens needed to take part in a test series to build a strong squad.

“This time, we have to emulate our counterparts that are busy with the series. By the time we go to the Commonwealth Games, the top five teams will be far ahead of us because they are active,” she said.

The Queens finished third during the continental championship and second in the Pent Series.

Nam President Abigail Sheriff recently told this paper that they were waiting for a technical report before finalising preparation plans for the Commonwealth Games.

During the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia, the Queens finished on seventh position whereas Uganda were sixth and South Africa came fifth.

England were crowned champions ahead of Australia while Jamaica came third. New Zealand claimed fourth position.

This was a drop for the Queens who came fifth during the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games in Scotland.

 

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