Netball worlds hosts Singapore suffer setback

Last updated 17:44 30/06/2011

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Host nation Singapore have suffered a set back on the eve of the world championships.

Singapore, who the Silver Ferns take on in a warm-up game later tonight (NZ time) has failed in a bid to have towering Chinese defender Chen Lili ruled eligible for the tournament which starts on Sunday night, the local Strait Times reported.

International rules state a player must be born in a country or have lived there for two years to be eligible.

Netball Singapore submitted an application for Lili earlier this year, but it has still not beeen approved.

Her place in the squad has been taken by 21-year-old debutant Charmaine Soh, who plays goal shoot.
Lili would not have been the tallest player at these world championships, however.

That honour is likely to belong to Sri Lankan goal shoot Tharjini Sivalingam who stands at 2.06m.

Even in cricket-obsessed Sri Lanka Sivalingam has garnered her share of media attention, particularly after she scored 74 of her teams 77 goals when they beat Singapore to take out the 2009 Asian Championships.

Heavy rain has been falling in Singapore today as the world championship draws closer.

After today's practise game, the Silver Ferns will play Malawi and Botswana over the next two days before resting on Sunday ahead of their tournament opener against Fiji on Monday night.

Singapore, which is ranked 19th in the world but as the host nation did not have to qualify for the 16-team tournament, take on Botswana in the opening game of the world championships at 11pm on Sunday night (NZ time).

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- Fairfax Media

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