Gems face uphill task to qualify for 2023 WC

By Anashe Murombedzi
THE Zimbabwe netball team the Gems face a difficult task to qualify for the 2023 World Cup after a disappointing outing at the Africa Netball Championship in Windhoek, Namibia.
It was a case of ups and downs for the Gems at the Africa Netball Championships in Namibia where inconsistency was their biggest let down.
After clinching a bronze medal at the Pent Series held before the Africa Championships, more of the same was expected in the continent’s top competition but things did not go according to plan.
The Gems finished fifth at the tournament, one place lower than their last appearance in 2019 where they finished fourth.
While South Africa, Malawi and Uganda were largely expected to be a big challenge for the Gems, it was the loss to Botswana that really derailed their march to glory.
Had they not lost to Botswana fourth place or better was guaranteed as their closest rivals Uganda and Malawi played out to a draw in the last match of the tournament.
African Champions, South Africa successfully defended their title while Uganda were runners up followed by Malawi in third place.
Hosts Namibia edged Zimbabwe on goal difference to secure fourth place.
Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania and Botswana were the bottom four teams.
Zimbabwe await an update on the world rankings while they also eye to stay in the top 12 and make the grade for the 2023 netball world cup set for South Africa

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