The Hungarian women’s basketball team will meet Spain, Japan and the top spot in the US qualifying tournament in the Sopron group of Olympic qualifiers in February – the draw was revealed on Thursday evening in Sopron, in the Museum Quarter.
|Photo: Marton Koncz
The world was paying attention to Suprun on Thursday evening, but at least the countries whose women’s basketball teams still have a chance to qualify for next summer’s Paris Olympics based on next February’s qualifiers.
It is no coincidence that the event will be held in the most loyal city, where the Hungarian team can also compete for performance in five rounds, specifically in the hall of the club that wins the Euroleague 2022 title. If Norbert Szekely’s team wins at least one of its three rivals in the competition between… February 8 and 11, our women’s basketball team can be in the five-a-side matches again after the 1980 Moscow Olympics – 43 years ago in the Russian capital, the team finished 4th in the national team that features Lenke Kiss and Zsuzsanna Boksay.
Of course, we will accept a similar classification in Paris next year, in fact, that would be a dream, but first we have to somehow reach the French capital. The road will not be easy, this can be said after Thursday’s draw.
Of course, it had already become clear on Wednesday that the Hungarian national team could not be placed in the easiest group, as they were drawn from the fourth cap, and only competitors above them in the world rankings could enter according to the complex rules of the FIBA drawing.
The event in Sopron was opened by Marton Baader, President of the National Association of Hungarian Basketball Players, and then a performance by Kossuth Prize-winning opera singer Andrea Rust wowed local and international guests.
The really important part came only after that, during the draw of the four qualifying groups, assisted by 328-times Hungarian international Kes Linke, living legend Sopron Basket, former Serbia captain Jelena Brooks, and our fate was essentially in their hands. When Brooks first pitted Spain against the Hungarian team, it was more or less decided that the winner of the American qualifier and the silver medalist at the Tokyo Olympics in Japan would be our opponents in February.
“We were put in a very tough group, but after being drawn from the fourth cap, we couldn’t have expected anything else.” – said Norbert Szekely, captain of the Hungarian national team. – However, I am very happy, because Hungarian basketball has a chance to reach the Olympics approximately every fifty years, and this is the chance for us. We have to try to win games and matches, it would be great to celebrate together in February, but I stress that we are not the ones who have the chance. “I think it’s a great opportunity to organize the tournament in Sopron, we don’t have to travel far, we don’t have to deal with the transition period, and the fans can help us a lot.”
Then a few words about the opponents. Coming from the first hat, Spain has dominated the women’s division in Europe for the past decades, we played them in the semi-finals in the European Championship in June and they lost in a great battle, 69-60, and in the end they won the title. Silver medal, we were in fourth place. From America, Canada is likely to come to Sopron, which finished fourth in the last World Championship, and the Maple Leafs will compete with Puerto Rico, Venezuela and Colombia for qualification. Japan won the silver medal in its own Olympics in 2021, so based on the results, we can give Norbert Szekely the truth: we are not the contenders…
However, it is nice to win here, as three teams from the quartet can travel to Paris. It would be nice to be among them.
Draft for the 2024 Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament
Group 1 (China): The second pass from the American qualifiers: China, New Zealand, France
Group Two (Belgium): Senegal, United States, Belgium, Nigeria
Group C (Brazil): Brazil, Germany, Serbia, Australia
Group D (Hungary): Spain, Hungary, first qualifier from the American qualifiers, Japan
Information (before lottery)
The International Federation (FIBA) classified the 16 qualifying teams scheduled for next February into four groups, and placed the Hungarians, who finished fourth in the European Championship last June, in fourth place alongside Senegal, New Zealand and Germany.
The four-team tournament will be hosted by Sopron, Antwerp, Rio de Janeiro and China’s Hessian, with national team captain Norbert Szekely’s team in Sopron between February 8 and 11. The countries participating in the qualifiers alongside us are: the United States (world champion), Belgium, Spain, France, Serbia and Germany (best in the European Championship), China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand (best in the Asian Championship). ) Brazil (best in the American Championship), Nigeria and Senegal (best in the African Championship). They will be joined by two teams from the US qualifiers scheduled for November.
The Hungarian Federation has already listed potential competitors on its website. Accordingly, our country cannot remove China from the first place, because it is the organization of the championship, and neither can the Americans. Belgium and Brazil were eliminated from the second round as managers as well. The United States was eliminated from the first hat because of the second hat, because if they tied their best with the Hungarians, they would have to get either France from the second hat, which cannot be placed in a group with the United States, or first place in the US Olympic qualifiers, which does not. It could also be placed in a tournament with the United States, as not every group from the American continent will be in the group. Nigeria will be eliminated from the third round because it will be in the same group with Senegal. Accordingly, our national team can face the following competitors:
Hat 1: Australia, Spain
Hat 2: From the American qualifiers France
Hat 3: Japan, Serbia, American qualifiers
Three quartet teams can travel to Paris. Among the groups that include the French and Americans, the two best goalkeepers will receive a share alongside them.