2022 Commonwealth Games Preview: Barbados

THE 2022 Commonwealth Games are in Birmingham, England and just around the corner. To celebrate, we are previewing each of the competing nations and predicting how they might fare in the tournament.

Today it is Barbados, who finished 10th last time around at the Commonwealth Games.

In terms of daunting tasks, it does not get much harder than Barbados’ quest in the netball at these Commonwealth Games.

Not only are the Bajan Gems the lowest ranked team in their group, but in the entire tournament. They also do not get regular matches against the sides they have to battle at the Games, so that makes it tough to improve and match it with the best.

They did have a two match test series against Scotland in the back end of last year, but unfortunately for the Bajan Gems they went down in that series 2–0.

Their recent run at major tournaments also does not bode well for them. The only team they beat at the 2019 World Cup for example was Singapore, who unfortunately for Barbados will not be competing at these games.

Heading into these games they did have a recent series win against St Vincent and the Grenadines, but unfortunately again for Barbados will not be competing at these games. In terms of the squad they are taking to Birmingham, there are plenty of experienced faces.

Latonia Blackman is set to compete in her sixth Games, which is even more remarkable when you consider netball has only been a sport at the games seven times. She made her Games debut in Manchester exactly 20 years ago.

Alongside Blackman, fellow members of the 2018 squad Shonette Azore-Bruce, Tonisha Rock-Yaw, Sabreena Smith, Vanessa Bobb and Shonica Wharton are all back to compete again.

In terms of their fixture, they certainly have to jump in the deep end straight away because just like in 2018 their first match is against none other than the Australian Diamonds. Barbados will certainly be hoping to avoid a repeat of their encounter with the Diamonds in the 2019 World Cup, when the Diamonds were victorious 91 to 22.

Their draw does get progressively easier as the tournament goes along, but considering the Bajan Girls have no recent success against any of these teams, it may not matter.

Barbados’ squad

Latonia Blackman (c), Shonette Azore-Bruce, Faye Agard, Vanessa Bobb, Samantha Browne, Brianna Holder, Zakiya Kirton, Tonisha Rock-Yaw, Stephian Shepherd, Akeena Stoute, Sabreena Smith, Shonica Wharton

Schedule for Barbados

Friday 29 July – Australia
Sunday 31 July – South Africa
Monday 1 August – Jamaica
Wednesday 3 August – Scotland
Thursday 4 August – Wales

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