Uganda and Zimbabwe have earned places at next year’s Netball World Cup in Liverpool after coming out on top in the African Regional Qualifier held in Zambia.
Six teams were vying for the two qualifying spots in this event held at the Olympic Youth Development Centre in Lusaka, with the eventual winners being joined by the Botswana, Namibia, hosts Zambia and - for the first time in a regional World Cup qualifier - Kenya.
Uganda, ranked seventh in the world, lived up to their ranking as favourites, winning against all five of their qualifying rivals.
Zimbabwe were the next highest ranked team in the competition at 13th, and they maintained their standing, losing only to Uganda.
It's been a thrilling six days of action in Zambia for the Regional Qualifier - Africa, with great performances by some fantastic players. A special congratulations to Uganda and Zimbabwe who qualify to compete at next years' world cup - we look forward to welcoming you!! 🌏🏆 pic.twitter.com/h6UdB1hB2g— Netball World Cup (@NetballWorldCup) August 18, 2018
Seventeenth-ranked Zambia - who qualified for the last World Cup in Sydney 2015 - missed out on another World Cup by two points, after losing to the two top teams.
The event doubled up as the African Championship in which Malawi, who have already qualified for next year’s World Cup, were also in action.
But the world-ranked sixth side were far from having it their own way as, despite securing victories over Zimbabwe and Botswana, they were beaten by Uganda and the hosts, who managed a famous 56-54 victory in front of their own supporters.