Malawi national netball team, the Queens are through to the preliminary round second stage at the ongoing Netball World Cup where they have been slotted in Group F after finishing as runners-up in Group B.
The Queens clinched the second position after a convincing 65-41 victory over Barbados in their last group match.
Shooter Joyce Mvula clinched the Player of the Match Award for the second consecutive game.
The United Kingdom-based Manchester Thunder player said she was excited to win the second award after bagging her first accolade at the tournament in the match against Singapore on Saturday.
“I just want to thank my fellow players. I couldn’t do it myself,” Mvula said in a post-match interview monitored on SuperSport.
After starting the group stage with a loss to New Zealand, the Queens bounced back to beat Singapore 87-38 on Saturday.
New Zealand have finished the first stage with 100 percent record after beating both Barbados and Singapore to finish top of the group.
International Netball Federation (INF) has introduced a complex format for the Netball World Cup.
In the new format, teams have to be at their best as they battle out in four round robin stages.
This is in contrast with the 2015 tournament format which although it had three stages, the preliminary stage was not subdivided into a further two stages.
The top three teams in each group will progress to the preliminaries stage two where the top three teams from groups A and B will form group F, and the top three teams from groups C and D will form Group G.
The bottom four finishers from groups A to D will compete for 13th to16th places in Group E.
In the second stage, Malawi’s Queens are now in Group F which has six teams—Group A winners Australia, Group B winners New Zealand, Barbados who finished third in Group B, Zimbabwe and Northern Ireland.
The winners and runners up will proceed into play-offs and the others play the same position from Group G in a placement match.
Assistant coach Whyte Mlilima said the Queens are determined to go all the way as the team, which has been relegated to position nine on INF rankings, is trying to squeeze in top six .
“For Malawi, the sky is the limit,” he said. “We are determined to go all the way as we try to reclaim our positions among the top teams.”
The second round of the preliminaries stage will be played from today to July 18 while the play-offs and placings will be played from July 19 to 21.