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Zimbabwe qualifies for world cup

by Sikhumbuzo Moyo
30 Jul 2016 at 09:53hrs | Views
ZIMBABWE Under-21 netball team have qualified for the prestigious World Youth Netball Cup with two games to spare at the ongoing qualifiers in Gaborone, Botswana.

The spirited girls sealed their place with a 30-22 win over Uganda on Thursday night.

They were meant to take on South Africa yesterday but the game is now more academic than anything or for the purposes of medal ranking.

"I am over the moon, really excited," said captain Felistas Kwangwa.

Zimbabwe Netball Association president Letticia Chipandu said Zimbabwe was now recognised and accepted as one of the giants in netball.

"We are true ambassadors of our country. Zina has fulfilled one of its objective of empowering women through sport and with proper funding and a focused leadership, netball can compete amongt the giants of Africa and restore Zimbabwe's pride," said Chipandu who accompanied the team to Botswana.

She said they were now expecting government to take a keen interest in the sport by providing funding for the team as they prepare for the World Cup finals.

The government has congratulated the netball team for their qualification in the World Cup.

The Minister of Sport and Recreation Makhosini Hlongwane said it was clear that women were doing well in sport. Besides the netball team's success, the Mighty Warriors are also in Rio for the Olympics while the hockey Under-21 women team also qualified for the World Cup finals set for Santiago in Chile later this year.

"It's becoming increasingly clear that women in sport may be our area of comparative advantage in respect of sport and recreation in the country. I extend my most profound congratulations to our girls who have once again demonstrated that with very humble resources there can be no hindrance to success," said Minister Hlongwane in a statement.

He noted that the latest feet comes against the background of a good performance at the African Union Sports Council Region Five Under-20 Games where Zimbabwe scooped gold.

"I thank them for adding yet another feather to their cap, given the fact that this particular team won gold during the AUSC Region 5 Games in Bulawayo but most importantly given the fact that our senior national netball team are gold medalists for Africa. The time has come now for our netball authorities to engage on a sustainable development plan to anchor these spasms of brilliance on a trajectory of sustainability.

"Deliberate, structural organisational intervention that links the grassroots constituency of talent to the elite segments of the game is an area that needs attention," he said.

Zimbabwe opened their campaign with a 46-24 win over Zambia, followed that up with a 38-20 victory over Namiba before crushing hapless Lesotho 88-13 in game three. They beat Malawi 53-23.

Four countries, including hosts Botswana will go through to the World Cup finals set for Botswana from July 8 to 16 next year.

The Zimbabwe squad is expected back home tomorrow morning where a mini ceremony has been organised for them.

Zimbabwe results

Zimbabwe 88-13 Lesotho, Zambia 24-46 Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe 38-20 Namibia, Zimbabwe 30-22 Uganda, Zimbabwe 53-23 Malawi.

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Source - Chronicle