The national netball team pose for a group photo at the 9th Asian Youth Netball Championships in Hong Kong. Courtesy of Sabariah Hj Kemal Jumat.
THE national netball team missed their chance to improve their ranking at the 9th Asian Youth Netball Championships following their 34-38 defeat to Thailand in the fifth and sixth place play-off.
Ranked sixth in the tournament, Brunei defeated fifth-ranked Thailand 43-39 the first time they met in the plate competition on Thursday and the Royal Bees could not replicate the same result yesterday at the Macpherson Stadium in Mong Kok, Hong Kong.
Sri Lanka were crowned the champions of the 2016 Asian Youth Netball Championship after a close 53-48 win over their closest rival Malaysia. Host Hong Kong went down to Singapore 42-28 to finish fourth in the tournament. Japan defeated Chinese Taipei in the seventh and eighth place play-off with only a point 41-40.
India defeated Pakistan 56-37 to finish ninth, while Maldives finished last in the tournament following their 35-39 defeat to Abu Dhabi. This year saw changes in the format of the tournament where only top team from each group qualified to the main event, the ‘trophy' cup. Second place finishers qualified for the ‘plate' cup while third place finishers played in the ‘bowls' cup.
Brunei were grouped alongside Japan, Thailand and Chinese Taipei in the plate competition following their 62-23 win over Abu Dhabi and 55-24 defeat to Singapore in the qualifying stage. The national team defeated Chinese Taipei 50-37 and Japan 54-40 in their other plate competition group matches. Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Singapore and host Hong Kong were in the trophy cup, the main event of the tournament.
Meanwhile, India, Maldives and non-ranked Pakistan and Abu Dhabi - who finished last in their respective groups - were in the bowl competition. Organised by the Hong Kong Netball Association and International Netball Federation (INF), the 9th Asian Youth Netball Championships served as a qualifier for the INF Netball World Youth Cup.
Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Singapore are the three teams that will be competing at the world meet in Botswana in August 2017. Brunei hosted the biennial tournament in 2013, finishing sixth after losing 53-34 to Thailand in the fifth and sixth place play-off. Malaysia were the champions of the previous edition of the tournament after defeating Sri Lanka 59-50 in the final.