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Wednesday February 28, 2024

Women’s basketball field confirmed as Germany seal Games debut

US earned automatic qualification after winning a record-extending 11th Women’s World Cup title in 2022

By REUTERS
February 13, 2024
Germany’s Satou Sabally (l) blocks Brazil’s Kamilla Cardoso during the Pre-Olympic tournament match. — AFP
Germany’s Satou Sabally (l) blocks Brazil’s Kamilla Cardoso during the Pre-Olympic tournament match. — AFP

BERLIN: Germany’s basketball team booked themselves a first-ever ticket to the Olympics as the 12-team line-up for the women’s tournament at the 2024 Paris Games was confirmed on Sunday.

Germany beat Brazil 73-71 at the FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualifying tournament in Belem, Brazil, one of four concurrent qualifying tournaments. The other three tournaments took place in China, Belgium and Hungary.

“To earn the ticket, I’m just so happy. We just made history. This team’s never been to the Olympics. They’re a wild bunch and I’m super proud of them,” Germany head coach Lisa Thomaidis said.

Canada also qualified on Sunday despite winning just one of their three qualifying matches, after Hungary were dealt a 73-72 defeat by Spain.

“It is a complete rollercoaster when your fate is in someone else’s hands,” Canadian forward Natalie Achonwa said. “But it was so exciting when we got to celebrate the moment together knowing that our dreams and our goals survive another day and that we get to represent Canada in Paris 2024.”

Japan, Serbia and Spain were the other teams to secure qualification on Sunday, while Australia, China, Belgium, Nigeria and Puerto Rico sealed their spots in the tournament on Friday and Saturday.

The United States earned automatic qualification after winning a record-extending 11th Women’s World Cup title in 2022, while France qualified as host nation. Both teams also took part in the qualifying tournaments and won all three of their games.