Reigning African Champions, Nigeria will face World Number One, United
State of America, Serbia and Mozambique in the battle for a spot at
the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
This was revealed at a brief ceremony held in Switzerland today
(Wednesday) to officially kick start the Olympics Tournament
qualification race. D’Tigress will play in Belgrade after being drawn
in Group A.
Reacting to the draw, the Nigeria Basketball Federation President,
Engr Musa Kida said qualification for the 2020 Olympics is possible
despite admitting that it was a difficult draw.
Being drawn against world number one (USA) and seven (Serbia) surely
will not make the job easy but I am optimistic that qualification for
the Olympics is possible.”
“The men have already qualified and all eyes are on our women to also
join their counterpart in Tokyo. D’Tigress are the reigning African
Champions and we hope this will count for something when they start
Kida hammered on the need for early preparation for the team if they
are to stand a chance in the group.
“We know that tournament of this magnitude costs money, time and
proper planning. We are going to be working with the Ministry of
Sports and the Honorable Minister, Hon Sunday Dare to ensure that we
return to the Olympic Games.”
The last time Nigeria met USA was at the quarter finals of the FIBA
Women’s World Cup in Spain where the D’Tigress lost 41-70 points
against the team that later went on to win the trophy.
D’Tigress last qualification for the Olympics was in 2004. A total of
10 teams will join USA (World Champions) and host- Japan from the OQT
to be played between 6th and 9th of February, 2020 across four
countries- China, Serbia, France and Belgium.
…2020 Olympics qualifiers: D’Tigress lands in pot 3
The senior women National Basketball team has been seeded in pot three
alongside Japan, Brazil and Great Britain ahead of the draw ceremony
for the 2020 Olympic Games Qualifying Tournament.
The team picked one of the two available slots from Africa after
beating Mali in the semifinal of the FIBA Africa organized
pre-qualifiers held in Maputo, Mozambique last week.
The number one rated team in Africa who got to the quarter finals of
the last World Cup in Spain will hope to join the men counterpart who
had already qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Mozambique who picked the second slot from Africa have landed in pot
four alongside Korea, Sweden and Puerto Rico.
World Champions, USA were seeded alongside Australia, Spain and Canada
while Pot two has France, Serbia, China and Belgium.
The draws will be conducted on Wednesday, 27th of November in
Switzerland with Belgium, China, France and Serbia to host the four
OQT groups between the 6th and 9th of February, 2020.
The last time D’Tigress qualified for the Olympics was in 2004 which
was hosted in Athens, Greece.