The Olympic dream remains alive for the Australian women who have booked a spot in FIBA’s 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) to be held in India from the 18th to 22nd of March 2020.
The Australian women have qualified off the back of major international success, winning gold twice at FIBA’s inaugural Women’s World Series events, and narrowly missing a medal with a fourth-place finish at the 2019 FIBA 3×3 World Cup. Despite their success the team did not earn a direct ticket to the first-ever 3×3 event in Olympic Games, instead gaining qualification to the Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) based on world rankings.
The Australian women’s 3×3 team will compete against 19 teams in the OQT, for a top 3 finish to book a place at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“Basketball Australia is incredibly excited to take part in FIBA’s 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament – it is a fantastic opportunity for our women, reflecting on their hard work and success this year that will hopefully see them qualify for the 2020 Olympics,” said Jerril Rechter, CEO, Basketball Australia
An exciting and fast-paced game, 3×3 officially was unveiled in international competition at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games and since has become a fan favourite at FIBA 3×3 World Cup events. Played on a half court with a 10-minute clock, and a 12-second shot clock, the first team to 21 points, or the team in the lead at the end of regulation, is the winner.
Australia has been placed in Group B, along with Iran, Japan, Ukraine and Turkmenistan. Group A will be comprised of France, USA, Germany, Uruguay and Indonesia. Group C will include Netherlands, Estonia, Belarus, Hungary and Sri Lanka. And, finally, Group D features Italy, Chinese Taipei, Czech Republic, Switzerland and host India.
“It’s exiting times for 3×3 – the sport is being put on the world’s main stage and we have a chance to be one of the performers. Ever since I took on this role, we’ve talked about playing with high expectation. This is the ultimate goal – play with the expectation of gold, don’t be afraid to expect gold, don’t be afraid to be favourites, don’t be afraid to be underdogs. Set your expectations and be accountable for achieving it. Gold will not fall in your lap…it needs to be earned” says Dave Biwer, 3×3 Pathways Manager for Basketball Australia.
All athletes who have worn the Green and Gold at an international event, those who participated at the inaugural national camp in March 2019 will be in contention to receive an invitation to Basketball Australia’s first Olympic Selection camp for 3×3 Women. The camp will take place after the WNBL season and as with any national squad it can remain fluid. A final team of team of four with two reserves will come from a very competitive field of candidates.
As per FIBA regulations, all teams taking part in the OQT must include two athletes who are ranked among the federation’s top 10 FIBA 3×3 athletes. FIBA’s 3×3 National Federation Rankings are based on a country’s 3×3 Individual World Rankings and are published on fiba3x3.com. Individual World rankings are comprised of points collected by players in FIBA and FIBA recognized or endorsed events in the past 12 months and that are registered through a confirmed play.fiba3x3.com account. National Federations are ranked according to total points from their top 100 athletes in men’s competitions and in women’s competitions.
The 2020 Olympics for the first time will feature the inclusion of 3×3 basketball with eight men’s and eight women’s teams competing for Gold in July 25-29 in Tokyo.