As we close in on 200 days until we welcome qualified nations to the shores of Sydney, Australian Opals’ great, Michelle Timms officially announced the FIBA Women’s World Cup draw last night.
In the presence of World Cup Ambassadors, Hall of Famer, Lauren Jackson and up and coming Opal Shyla Heal, Timms had Australian basketball fans eager to see where the Opals would land.
Split into two groups of six, the Opals were drawn in group B alongside France, Serbia, Japan, Nigeria and Canada.
The fiery match against Serbia last month which saw Steph Talbot ejected from the game in front of a hostile crowd will be a popular Opals game for the Australian fans.
France and Japan will come in with full confidence following their Tokyo 2020 Olympic performances and will be determined to add a World Cup podium finish.
A detailed explanation of the draw below:
Opals Head Coach, Sandy Brondello is excited to start preparing for these matchups.
“Every draw is tough it just shows how competitive it is at this level there was never going to be an easy road. I’m looking forward to our rematch against Serbia with the home ground advantage it should be a tightly contested match,” Brondello said.
“Japan and France coming off their respective silver and bronze medal finishes in Tokyo will be hot contenders for the podium. I’m feeling confident in the talent that we have available and looking forward to stepping onto the court in Sydney.”
The Opals were following the draw with interest, Bec Allen, Marianna Tolo, Cayla George, Sami Whitcomb, Maddy Rocci and Sara Blicavs all posting the result on their channels.
Captaining the Opals at the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup and World Cup qualifiers last month, Sami Whitcomb is looking forward to facing the world on home turf.
“We are so excited about hosting these incredible countries on our home soil with our amazing, spirited fans behind us come September. The recent qualifiers were a great barometer for us, in particular the Serbia game, that’s a match-up we are looking forward to again. September will be special, and the draw was exciting but for now, we have lots of work to do.”
Reflecting on her own experiences representing the green and gold in Australia, Lauren Jackson knows how much this World Cup will mean to the current Opals group.
“There is nothing like playing at home, I was fortunate enough in 2000 to play in Sydney at the Olympics in front of my family and friends, it means the world and will be so special for the Opals and all the fans.”
The FIBA WWC will take place between the 22nd of September- 1st of October this year in Sydney, with the fixture to be announced and tickets to go on sale within the month.
2022 WWC DRAW:
Belarus, China, Bosnia and Herzegovina, TBD, Korea and the USA
France, Serbia, Japan, Nigeria, Canada and Australia
The groups are set and the Opals are on their way to the @FIBAWWC.
The Australia v Serbia rematch on home soil? We’d like to see that!
Bring on Sydney. pic.twitter.com/70wWhwr7mp
— Basketball Australia (@BasketballAus) March 3, 2022