The sixth ranked Malawi netball team today found out the five nations they will need to face-off against in the round-robin preliminary rounds in April next year.
Nicknamed ‘the Queens’, the team will play Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games silver medallists and two-time champions New Zealand, third seeds England and drawn nations Wales, Scotland and Uganda in Pool B. Despite the high quality draw, the Queens have the medal matches in their sights.
The south eastern African nation have shown they can match it with the best in the world - at the 2016 Fast5 Netball World Series Tournament, Malawi secured their highest ever finish in the competition, defeating England for bronze.
When visiting the landlocked country in April this year, as part of the Queen’s Baton Relay, gc2018.com sat down with Queen’s goal attack Jane Chimaliro on their recent form and who she sees as their main rivals.
Our biggest rival is Jamaica.
We have already beaten them at Fast 5, we know for sure they are practicing so hard to beat us. Even England, they are training for us.
We won’t let that happen, we’re going to work extra hard so at the Commonwealth Games we can beat them.
Beating England was awesome, because [cos] you know England are a big team and it was our first time to beat England like that. We beat them 35-32, but it was a tough game. But we managed to beat them. We only thank God he gave us strength to beat them and we know (at GC2018) we will beat them again.
Chimaliro is also confident in her team’s ability to upset the top-tiered netball teams at GC2018.
Australia is a big team as you know, but we won’t let them beat us. In Fast-5 it was a really tough game for us vs Australia.
But for us, beating Jamaica and England, we make many teams think about us. Thinking Malawi is a small team, how did they beat England and Jamaica?
Even Australia are preparing now to beat us but I challenge you, we will do that and beat them in Australia.
Malawi made their Commonwealth Games debut at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne and are currently one of the nation’s most successful sports team.
Fellow African team South Africa will compete against reigning Commonwealth champions Australia, Jamaica, Barbados, Fiji and Northern Ireland.
The full netball draw is available here