Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer
Praimanand Singh, team doctor for the Sunshine Girls, said that the Jamaicans are in the best shape of their life going into this year's World Netball Championships (WNC), and he is quite optimistic that they can win the gold medal.
The Sunshine Girls, ranked fourth in the world, are often criticised by local fans for lacking endurance and sloppy play in crucial points of the game.
However, Singh said this is not the case this time around because the girls are fit, ready and raring to go.
"They are fit and fitter than I have ever seen them before, and none of them have any injuries at the moment and everybody is in excellent health," said Singh, in an interview with The Gleaner.
'We can win gold'
"I don't see any reason why Jamaica can't win this Championships because we are right up there with the top teams in the world, and so I am pretty sure that we can win the gold medal," he said.
"Romelda (Aiken) is just coming back from Australia and so she wasn't in the team while they were training in Jamaica, except for a short period of time," he pointed out.
"However, she won the ANZ Championships in Australia, and so she is in good form, and it is not going to be a matter of 'they weren't fit' and 'they were worn out' by the third quarter of the game. We don't expect any of that."
Singh added the Sunshine Girls have been practising somewhat of a mixed diet and they have also been taking vitamins, which he had prescribed for them, along with nutritious cooked meals that were given to them while camping in Jamaica.
"This time around they have been doing some different training, they have been going to the gym and they have been doing endurance training as well," Singh said. "All of the players are ready and therefore coaches can make the changes any time, and so in the preliminary rounds you won't have one player playing the entire game and get worn out when they get in the semi-finals.
"Everybody is well trained and so they can rotate players without affecting the flow of the game and the ability of the team," Singh said.
Singh also pointed out that he and other members of the coaching staff have prepared themselves to deal with any injuries which may occur, as they try to prevent a repeat of what happened to goal shooter Elaine Davis at the last Championships in 2007.
Davis sprained her ankle and was out for a number of games.
"We don't want that kind of injury to occur this time, and so with fitness and the training that they have had and with proper nutrition, I don't expect anything like that to happen".
He warned, however, that "... of course, we can't see the future and if it does happen, then we just have to see how best we can deal with it."
In the last two competitive Test series before their departure on Sunday for the Championships, the Jamaicans played to 1-1 draw against world champions Australia in January. They later defeated arch-rivals and third-ranked England 2-1 in April.
Position: Goal shooter
Expectation: "To come home with the goal medal."
Positions: Goal shooter, goal attack
Occupation: Product Assistant
Club: WindalcoExpectation: "To go out there and do my best, and I hope that we can take home the goal medal."