Three times a charm for Medhurst

Each of Natalie Medhurst’s three Netball World Cup Gold Medals are special to her.

But being part of the Australian Diamonds team to claim the title on home soil – for the first time in 24 years – raises the 2015 triumph that little bit above her 2007 and 2011 victories.

“I’ve been extremely privileged to have been part of thee (World Cups) and they’re all so incredibly special,” Medhurst said.

“But this one has so much sentiment around it; being at home and sharing it with (the retiring) Julie Corletto.

“We made our debut together and to see what she’s gone through to be able get herself up for this, it made it extremely special for me and obviously for her as well.

“To win on home soil, with so much expectation around it, it’s the icing on the cake. You want to bottle that feeling.”

Medhurst is still soaking in the memories from Australia’s 58-55 triumph over New Zealand in Sunday’s pulsating Grand Final at Sydney’s Allphones Arena – and has not ruled out being part of the Diamonds next title defence at Liverpool in 2019.

She’s also eager to help Australia defend its Commonwealth Games Gold Medal when the event comes to the Gold Coast in 2018.

The 31-year-old hopes the success of the Diamonds – and World Cup in general – will translate into more exposure for the sport of netball and continue to grow the numbers playing the game.

“It’s done an incredible amount for our sport; we’re talking world record crowds almost every day of this competition and that’s a testament to not just the job the organisers have done but how they’ve been able to profile it,” Medhurst said.

“It’s exciting and we only hope it can continue to go forward and we know as players we play a huge part in trying to push that and continuing that to grow.”

The combination between Medhurst and Caitlin Bassett that flourished at Singapore in 2011 continues to go from strength to strength.

They’ve been teammates at West Coast Fever the past two seasons and Medhurst was delighted to see Bassett perform strongly in the Grand Final against New Zealand with 48 goals at 94 per cent accuracy.

“We know each other’s game back to front now and she did an incredible job against probably one of best defensive combinations in the world and she was such a great target for us,” Medhurst said.

“The way the midcourt, Kim Green and Kim Ravaillion, moved the ball through that centre court made it really easy for her to set up and get the ball and she delivered.”

Medhurst and Corletto both made their Test debuts in the same international, against Jamaica in Sydney in July 2007, and she’s paid tribute to what the star defender had contributed to the Australian team.

“It’s been a privilege of mine to play with her and against her for so long,” Medhurst said.

“She’s the ultimate competitor and a true athlete and the most humble and kind person on and off the court and I wish her nothing but the best. I know her body will be thankful that she’s finally giving it a break.”