INF World Ranking - 4
Nickname - Sunshine Girls
Capital city - Kingston
Population - 2.8M
Best Commonwealth Games Finish - BRONZE (2002, 2014)
Jamaica are the reigning Bronze medalists, having finished third four years ago in Glasgow, defeating England in the bronze medal match. The Sunshine Girls are currently ranked 4th in the INF World Rankings and have been at every netball event at the Commonwealth Games.
In Kuala Lumpur 1998, Jamaica finished 5th which still remains their worse performance at the Games. Four years later, in Manchester, Jamaica claimed a podium position, finishing third. They would have to wait another twelve years to step on the podium again.
Four years ago in Glasgow, Jamaica were the highest scoring team out of all twelve with a staggering 438 goals. Star shooter Jhaniele Fowler-Reid played a big part in this as she scored 214 of those goals.
The Sunshine Girls have had the perfect start to 2018, following their clean sweep of victories in the Taini Jamison Trophy in March. Jamaica defeated the Silver Ferns twice, the first time they have secured back to back wins over the Ferns in their history. Elsewhere, there were victories against fellow Commonwealth Games qualifiers, Malawi and Fiji.
The Sunshine Girls have opted for a dynamic blend of youth and experience. The squad consists of seven players with twenty or fewer test caps to their name. However, the likes of Romelda Aiken and Paula Thompson will be embarking on their third appearance at a Commonwealth Games. A combined total of 329 caps exist within the squad.
Glasgow 2014s second highest goal scorer, Jhaniele Fowler-Reid has been selected for her second Games campaign. She was second to only Malawi’s Mwai Kumwenda four years ago.
Their will be five athletes making their Commonwealth Games debut next month. They are; Vangelee Williams, Jodi-Ann Ward, Shamera Sterling, Adean Thomas and Nicole Dixon. Both Jodi-Ann Ward and Rebekah Robinson have five or fewer caps to their name.
Match Schedule – Preliminary Rounds
Jamaica get proceedings underway, when they play Fiji in the very first match. This fixture has only happened once at the Commonwealth Games, back in Manchester 2002 in which Jamaica won 84-33. Jamaica recently played Fiji in the Taini Jamison Trophy, in which the Sunshine Girls were victorious, 83-38.
Next up is South Africa. Both Jamaica and South Africa have been present at every netball event at the Commonwealth Games but have only played each other once at the Games. This was also at Manchester 2002 where the Sunshine Girls were victorious 66-55.
A rematch from four years previous will be Jamaica’s third game. They played Northern Ireland in Glasgow 2014 in the prelims which they won by thirty one points.
Jamaica’s penultimate game is against familiar Commonwealth Games opponents Barbados. This game has not taken place on the Commonwealth stage since 2006 but took place in the first three Commonwealth Games. Jamaica have had the best of this tie, winning all three previous meetings at the Games.
Finally, Jamaica play defending Gold Medalists Australia. This game has taken place at every Commonwealth Games to date. Glasgow 2014 is the first time these sides didn’t play each other in the prelims, however, they met in the semi finals in which the Diamonds won 57-42. Jamaica have never beaten Australia at the Commonwealth Games but came ever so close in Melbourne 2006 when they drew 54-54 in a prelims match. Could it be sixth time lucky for the Sunshine Girls?
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