Australian Diamonds among first nations to qualify for Birmingham 2022

Diamonds Captain Liz Watson during Australia's 2018 Commonwealth games. (Photo: Australian Diamonds)

The Australian Diamonds are among the first six teams to qualify for the Commonwealth Games which will be held in Birmingham next year.

Australia, New Zealand, England, South Africa, Jamaica and Malawi all received invites to the games by the Commonwealth Games Federation with all six teams accepting the invitation to Birmingham next year.

The host nation, England and the top five Commonwealth Games Associations on the World Netball world rankings on 28 July 2021 qualified for the event. The date marks one year until the opening of the games in Birmingham.

Recently appointed Australian Diamonds captain Liz Watson said she looked forward to leading her country.

“The Commonwealth Games is the biggest stage for our sport, and we are excited to represent Australia in Birmingham,” Watson said.

“We have waited four years for the opportunity to win back Commonwealth Games gold and we are incredibly determined to bring it home in 2022.”

Since Australia’s netball involvement in the Commonwealth Games, the Diamonds have secured three gold medals and three silver medals.

Most recently the Diamonds took home silver in the 2018 Commonwealth games on the Gold Coast in a nail-biting clash against the England Roses.

The Diamonds during the 2018 Commonwealth games. (Photo: Australian Diamonds)

Birmingham will mark Stacey Marinkovich’s first Commonwealth Games as the Diamonds Head Coach.

“Our preparation is already underway, and we will continue to build our on and off the court connection over the next nine months as we firmly set our sights on the 2022 Commonwealth Games,” Marinkovich said.

“We are currently working through upcoming opportunities for international matches, which will be crucial in the lead up to Birmingham.”

12 teams will compete in Netball at the Commonwealth Games, with the teams ranked 7-12 according to the world rankings on 31st of January in 2022 will receive an invitation in February 2022.

During the remainder of the qualification period, many Commonwealth countries including Uganda, Africa and Wales will be involved in ranking matches in which teams will be looking to secure their qualification to the Birmingham 2022.

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Australian Team Chef de Mission Petria Thomas OAM said it was exciting to see team qualifications beginning to take shape.

“The history of netball at the Games and the performances of the Diamonds show that close, thrilling and sometimes heart-breaking results eventuate, and we know our team is keen to head to England’s home court to reverse the result from the Gold Coast Games, which was a superb win for Team England,” Thomas said.

World Netball President Liz Nicholl CBE commented on the elite netball talent confirmed to take the Birmingham 2022 netball stage.

“World Netball will continue to work closely with the Commonwealth Games Federation on the announcement of the remaining six teams,” Nicholl said.

“I look forward to seeing all 12 teams compete on this world stage in Birmingham next year and watching the athletes embrace this opportunity to compete at this important multi-sport event.”

The 2022 Commonwealth games will take place from 28 July to 8 August.

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