Read the full story on SportsLook – Japan's women beat Canada to place in Paris Olympics
It all came down to the final day of qualifying. The Japanese women's basketball team needed to beat Canada on Sunday, February 11 in Sopron, Hungary to secure one of the 12 tournament spots. Paris Olympics 2024.
mission accomplished. Japan's Akatsuki pulled off a hard-fought 86-82 win over Canada on the final day of the 2024 FIBA Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament. China, Belgium and Brazil also hosted qualifiers from February 8-11.
Now the 12-team field is set: Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, Tokyo 2020 runners-up Japan, Nigeria, Puerto Rico, Serbia, Spain and defending Olympic champions the United States.
In an inspiring and resolute performance, Japan coach Toru Onuzuka's side bounced back from a disappointing 81-75 defeat to Hungary on Friday. May Yamamoto And Evelyn Mawley Japan outperformed the world's ninth-ranked team by 21 points each.
“I would like to thank the fans who were watching inside the stadium and also the fans who watched on TV in Japan,” Onzuka commented after the two-legged match, which saw 12 lead changes.
“I also want to thank Canada because they are a difficult team to beat,” the coach added. [And] I'm very happy too.”
Japan led 50-46 at halftime.
Yamamoto was named Most Valuable Player of the Sopron Tournament
Yamamoto, a 24-year-old guard for the WJBL's Toyota Antelopes, was named the Sopron Tournament Most Valuable Player, averaging 17.0 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists while shooting 62% from the field in Japan's three games.
The rising star exploded with joy after the final bell.
“Of course I'm very happy,” Yamamoto told reporters. “We played together for 40 minutes as a team.”
What are Yamamoto's overall impressions of the game?
“Canada was also a strong team, so we expected a tough match,” she said, according to Kyodo News. “Everyone believes in each other and fights with determination.”
Summarizing the team's performance in the high-pressure competition, Yamamoto acknowledged that it took a cohesive team effort to achieve his goal.
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Author: Ed O'Devin
Find Ed on Japan Forward'and the dedicated website, Sporty look. Follow him [Japan Sports Notebook] On Sundays, [Odds and Evens] During the week, and X (formerly Twitter) ＠ed_oven.