Ellina Mhlanga, Harare Bureau
THE Zimbabwe senior women netball team underlined their status as one of the rising African powerhouses when they emerged victorious at the Hong Kong tri-nations tournament at the Kowloon Park Sports Centre yesterday.
Zimbabwe won all their matches against the hosts and Malaysia to come out tops at the end of the four-day event.
They beat Malaysia 52-28 in their opening match before defeating Hong Kong 46-30.
With the top two countries going into the finals, Zimbabwe and Hong Kong met again to decide the eventual winners of the tournament and Zimbabwe proved to be the better team of the day with a 42-28 victory.
Zimbabwe’s captain, Perpetua Siyachitema, said the tournament showed how much they have improved.
“We are so excited. The win means so much to us. It shows that we are really improving.
“We were playing short and accurate passes and since they are fast, we were playing a slow game,” said Siyachitema.
In yesterday’s final, the first quarter ended with the teams tied at 8-8 before Zimbabwe upped their game to take the second quarter 11-6.
They continued with their dominance taking the third and fourth quarters 13-10 and 10-4.
Siyachitema, who has been with the team for nine years, believes the tournament gave them an insight of what they need to work on ahead of the African Championships in June, where Zimbabwe will be looking at defending the title.
“This victory is so important because it has helped us to know how we are going to work on some of the mistakes that we were making. It also shows how strong the team is. We are just going to polish up on a few things,” said Siyachitema.
Zimbabwe went into the tournament as the favourites ranked at number 17 on the world rankings. Hong Kong and Malaysia occupied number 26 and 19 respectively.
Zimbabwe will be hoping for an improvement on their rankings since it was a world ranking tournament.
Meanwhile, the national Super League began on Saturday with Support Unit Queens beating Ruwa Queens 48-26.
ZRP Tomlinson Queens dismissed Golden Valley Queens 64-15 while Platinum Queens overpowered Shurugwi Queens 68-10.
ZDF Queens beat Waruwaru Queens 37-26.