Jamaica upset Australia in Commonwealth Games netball


BIRMINGHAM, England — Jamaica caused a major upset in Commonwealth Games netball when they edged gold medal favorites Australia after a stunning comeback on Thursday.

The Sunshine Girls qualified for the medal round with a 57-55 win over the also-qualified Australian Diamonds. They will face either England or defending champions New Zealand in the semi-finals on Saturday.

Jamaica overcame a six-goal deficit early in the final quarter to claim their first triumph against Australia at the Games, with captain Jhaniele Fowler up front.

Fowler, who plays in Australia’s domestic competition for Perth-based West Coast Fever, scored 47 goals from 50 attempts and said the win boosted his confidence in Jamaica’s gold medal hopes.

“It’s a bit surreal to beat Australia at the Commonwealth Games,” she said.

“We’ve never done this before but our team is amazing and we went out there and proved everyone wrong and it’s so good.

“Our mindset from the start was that we were as good as them, if not better. We have so much discipline and focus in our team.

The identity of top-seeded Jamaica or Australia in the semi-finals will be decided after England meet New Zealand on Thursday night.

In athletics, Jamaican sprint champion Elaine Thompson-Herah returned to Alexander Stadium just over 12 hours after her 100 meters triumph on Wednesday night.

A two-time Olympic 200m champion, she qualified second fastest for Friday’s semi-finals in an easy victory clocking 22.80 seconds.

Nigerian Favor Ofili posted the fastest heat time of 22.71.

Four years after being disqualified on the Gold Coast for obstructing a rival before taking the first of the 200m, England’s Zharnel Hughes posted the fastest men’s heat time of 20.30.

Jareem Richards of Trinidad and Tabago, who was promoted to gold on the Gold Coast after being hampered by Hughes, qualified third fastest in 20.68.

Pre-race favorite Grace Brown of Australia won the women’s road time trial in the Black Country around Wolverhampton with an outstanding performance.

With more than 40 minutes on the 29 kilometer (18 mile) course, Brown finished more than 33 seconds ahead of runner-up Anna Henderson of England.

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