The Zimbabwe women’s netball team, the Gems, have ended their 2019 Vitality World Cup campaign in eighth position overall, after losing their final placing match to Uganda, 58-47.
Despite not getting the ultimate prize, which went to New Zealand after it beat the reigning Australian team, 52-51, the Gems still made history for the country, by qualifying for the second round of the competition after finishing second in a group that included reigning world champions Australia, Northern Ireland and Sri Lanka.
Although they overcame Barbados in the second round, defeats to New Zealand, Malawi, Jamaica and finally, Uganda, saw the Gems, which were the first Zimbabwe team to qualify for the World Cup, slip to eighth place.
Team captain Perpetual Siyachitema said the World Cup experience was a learning curve for the Gems, and promised that the team will perform better in the next competition, including clinching the coveted cup, if they qualify.
“I promise that we are going to fight to the end to qualify again for the World Cup. That would be the time for us to fight for the title,” said Siyachitema.
The Gems are expected to return home to a rousing welcome after exceeding expectations in the 16-team competition which featured the best netball teams from around the planet.