Tokyo Olympics: Serbia and Australia Potential Croatia Basketball Rivals

Daniela Rogulj

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HRT reports that IF they manage to qualify for the Olympic Games at the tournament in Split, the Croatia basketball team will play in Group B in Tokyo together with Australia, Nigeria, and the winner of the qualifying tournament in Belgrade, where the Serbia national team is the biggest favorite. This news was announced after a draw was held at the International Basketball Federation in Mies, Switzerland.

Croatia, Tunisia, and Brazil will meet in the group stage of the qualifying tournament in Split in June, which crosses over with Germany, Russia, and Mexico. The Split tournament and the other three hosted by Belgrade, Kaunas, and Victoria in Canada are scheduled from June 29 to July 4, 2021. Only one winner qualifies from each tournament, 

The competition format has changed in Tokyo, in both the men’s and women’s competition. Instead of how it was previously held, in which 12 national teams were divided into two groups of six, where the four best from the group stage continued to compete in the quarterfinals by a knockout system, the new system divides the teams into three groups of four.

The first two national teams from each of the three groups will advance to the quarterfinals and will be joined by the two best of the three third-placed teams. With this system, each match of the group stage becomes even more important, and to win an Olympic medal, it is now necessary to play six instead of the previous eight matches.

FIBA tried to distribute the quality among the groups evenly for this draw. Thus, in Group A, the US national team will fight for their fourth consecutive Olympic gold in Tokyo against France, Iran, and the winner of the qualifying tournament in Canada. The biggest favorites are Greece, along with Canada, the Czech Republic, and Turkey.

Group C boasts the current world champions and runners-up, Spain and Argentina, host Japan, and the winner of the qualifying tournament in Kaunas, where Lithuania is the biggest favorite. However, Slovenia is right up there if they have their strongest team.

The qualification process for the female basketball players has been completed. The draw has determined that South Korea, Serbia, Canada, and Spain will compete in Group A. Group B will consist of Nigeria, Japan, France, and the United States. Group C will include Australia, Puerto Rico, China, and Belgium.

The basketball competitions at the Tokyo Olympics will begin on July 25, two days after the grand opening, and will end on August 8, the last day of the Games.

Men’s Olympic Basketball Tournament Group Draw:

Group A: Iran, France, USA, KT Winner (Victoria)

Group B: Australia, KT Winner (Split), KT Winner (Belgrade), Nigeria

Group C: Argentina, Japan, Spain, KT Winner (Kaunas)

Women’s Olympic Basketball Tournament Group Draw
Group A: South Korea, Serbia, Canada, Spain
Group B: Nigeria, Japan, France, USA
Group C: Australia, Puerto Rico, China, Belgium

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.  


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